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Hobbies, Crafts, Books, Cars & Relaxation Discuss Ant powered car at the General Discussion; Granny says, "Dat's right - dey got high hopes, high apple pie inna sky hopes... Ant power: Take a ride ...

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Old 07-06-2017, 07:45 AM
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Cool Ant powered car

Granny says, "Dat's right - dey got high hopes, high apple pie inna sky hopes...

Ant power: Take a ride on a bus that runs on formic acid
27 June 2017 - A group of students has developed a way of storing energy that could be cheaper to make, more practical and more sustainable than alternative renewable fuels.
Quote:
They are young and clever, and they want to change the world - one bus at a time. "We've created the world's first bus that runs on formic acid, which is a much cheaper solution than hydrogen, yet it delivers the same environmental benefits," says Lucas van Cappellen from Team Fast, a spin-off company from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. "We're building our own future."


Team Fast sitting in front of their prototype bus that runs on formic acid

Around 40 of his fellow students are endeavouring to develop emissions-free transport that will help in the global battle against climate change. And they're also trying to create careers for themselves. Formic acid is found in nature, delivered in the stings and bites of ants and other insects - the Latin word for ant is formica. And this simple carboxylic acid (chemical formula HCOOH) is already used in textiles and leather processing, as a livestock feed preservative, and is also found in some household limescale removers.


Team Fast tested its concept in a one-metre length model car

But Team Fast has found a way the acid can efficiently carry the ingredients needed for hydrogen fuel cells, used to power electric vehicles. The fuel, which the team has dubbed hydrozine (not to be confused with hydrazine), is a liquid, which means you can transport it easily and refill vehicles quickly, as with conventional fuels. The difference is that it is much cleaner. "The tailpipe emissions are only CO2 and water," explains Mr van Cappellen. "No other harmful gases like nitric oxides, soot or sulphuric oxides are emitted."


Some types of ant squirt formic acid as a defence mechanism

To prove the concept in the real world, an electric bus is set to hit the road in the Netherlands later this year, where it will shuttle between running on conventional bus routes and appearing at promotional events and industry fairs. The bus has an electric drive system, developed by bus builder VDL, that receives additional power from the formic acid fuel cell system mounted in a range-extender trailer, towed behind. "Our tank is around 300 litres, so we will extend the range of the bus by 200km (180 miles). However, we could of course make the tank bigger very easily," says Mr van Cappellen.

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