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Students run Triumph motorcycle on apples

25th April 2008 Print
Students run Triumph motorcycle on apples A Triumph Daytona 675 powered by bioethanol fuel today reached an astonishing track speed of 158.7 mph at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground! The biofuel used for this groundbreaking initiative was produced from windfall apples by A-level students from a local school.

Devised by Rupert Paul, contributing editor of Bike magazine, “Project Fast Fruit” aimed to convert and run a high performance vehicle on biofuel using only basic equipment. As such, the fuel was produced in a Chemistry Lab as part of an A-level project by students from the Prince William School in Oundle, Northamptonshire.

Triumph Motorcycles, the iconic British motorcycle manufacturer, initially entered into the scheme some four months ago by providing its world leading Daytona 675 model as the test bike. Today’s successful final run was the result of four months of hard work – the school having fermented and distilled around 6,000 crushed apples while Bike magazine modified the Daytona’s engine to run on bioethanol.

Surprisingly little modification was required – just a remap of the fuel injection system. The engine was then tested thoroughly using commercially available E85 (85% ethanol) with very encouraging results. The project then moved to the next phase, with testing and optimization of the engine using the fuel produced by the students before undertaking today’s run at Bruntingthorpe.

Rupert Paul of Bike magazine commented, “We believe that achieving a speed 158.7mph sets a record for a production bike on home-brewed fuel. Biofuel is a buzzword at the moment, with the Government setting a target for all petrol and diesel to contain a minimum 5% biofuel by 2010. Although they are still questionable from an environmental point of view, biofuels are here to stay, and this experiment was all about exploring how much power we could extract from them – as well as having some fun.”

Andrea Friggi, PR & Communications Manager at Triumph Motorcycles commented, “At the moment all Triumph motorcycles are designed for optimum performance with non-ethanol fuel but are compatible with E10 (10% ethanol). We’re currently investigating making all models compatible with E25 fuel so while this is a fun experiment it does have a serious side and we’re looking forward to reviewing the results.”

Dr Anton McAleese, Head of Chemistry at Prince William School said; “This is a really interesting project for our students to get involved in. It’s important that industry recognises the skills and creativity that our students can offer. Further, it’s often young people today who are the most concerned about the future of our environment, so it’s a topic close to their hearts.”

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Students run Triumph motorcycle on apples