The world’s first coffee powered car
BBC One science presenter attempts trip in car powered by used coffee beans. Jem Stansfield, engineer and presenter of BBC One’s science show, Bang Goes The Theory, today attempts a 210-mile drive in a car powered only by used coffee grinds. Driving from BBC Television Centre in London to Manchester (to The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists’ and Engineers’ Fair), the car (nicknamed the car-puccino) will use the equivalent of more than 10,000 espressos, and is made from and is powered by waste products. Built onto the car is a system that converts the coffee grounds into flammable gasses that can be used in the engine instead of petrol. It should be able to do 40 miles between coffee stops but with the entire thing pretty much built out of scrap the journey may not be that straightforward. The alternatively-powered road trip is designed to promote use of waste products and to encourage young people to think about how we can tap into energy from surprising new sources. Jem explains: “It’s important for kids to understand that power is not
something that is mystically there, simply at the flick of a switch or by pushing a pedal. “With the energy challenge that is facing the world, the more we encourage children to think about alternative fuels, where energy is stored and how it can be released, the better! This is one of the aims of The Big Bang and something that our Bang Goes The Theory team wanted to show in action. “Everyone recognises that coffee can give a person a bit of a boost, but many probably had no idea it had enough energy locked away to power a car!” To complete its journey, the car will have to navigate the centre of Birmingham in morning rush-hour, stopping at the innovative Thinktank museum, re-fuelling in Coventry and Crewe along the way. If it goes the distance, more than 5,000 children will be awaiting the car’s arrival at the final destination, The Big Bang, a huge annual celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths taking place in Manchester Central. Today’s attempt also marks the start in Manchester of the Bang Goes The Theory annual nationwide roadshow. The BBC One presenting team, Jem Stansfield, Dallas Campbell, Liz Bonnin and Dr Yan Wong, are touring the UK bringing science to life. Last year, Bang Goes The Theory welcomed 65,000 people to its live science shows and proved that science can be fun. At least one presenter will attend each event as they test, stretch, explain and experiment with science. Bang Goes The Theory looks at how science shapes the world around us and there’s
nothing they won’t be putting to the test. This is a show for anyone who is remotely curious about life, the Universe and pretty much everything. The free roadshow (a BBC Learning organised event) is an opportunity for fans to meet the presenters, try out experiments and take part in a variety of daring science stunts! From Manchester, the interactive science tour moves on to the Edinburgh Science Festival (8-10 April) and in June will be at the Royal Society Science Festival on the Southbank, London (23-28 June). The second series of the popular science show, Bang Goes The Theory, starts at 7.30pm on Monday 15 March and marks the BBC’s commitment to engaging the nation in science. Throughout 2010 the BBC is celebrating its ongoing commitment to science, bringing together a wealth of TV and radio science programmes, online initiatives, regional roadshows and learning campaigns to inspire a love of science across the nation. Notes to Editors; About science on the BBC. Bang Goes The Theory is BBC One’s popular science series. Starting its second run on BBC One on Monday 15 March, 7.30pm, Bang Goes The Theory use a variety of platforms, including a TV series, an interactive website, and regional roadshows across the country
to get children and familes engaged with science. Throughout 2010 the BBC is celebrating its ongoing commitment to science, bringing together a wealth of TV and radio science programmes, online initiatives, regional roadshows and learning campaigns to inspire a love of science across the nation. Other TV highlights include: landmark series The Story Of Science (BBC Two), an epic exploration of hundreds of years of scientific developments presented by Michael Mosley; Seven Wonders Of The Solar System (BBC Two), a spectacular and engaging journey around space led by Professor Brian Cox (BBC Two); and Beautiful Minds (BBC Four), which meets science’s leading minds to find out the story behind their great discoveries. Two series that aired in January 2010, How Earth Made Us and Chemistry: A Volatile History, have become the most-watched science series on the BBC in recent years. Chemistry: A Volatile History launched with BBC Four’s highest ever audience for a science programme, whilst How Earth Made Us was the most successful science programme on BBC Two for four years. news from bbc.co.uk
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