Boat aims to set speed record…powered by human fat


Here’s a nice PR gimmick — and by nice, I mean totally disgusting: power your monster “eco boat” with biodiesel made from human fat:

You can also make biodiesel from tallow (animal fats), fish oil, seaweed and algae. In fact, in an extraordinary show of dedication to the project, the skipper, Pete Bethune, underwent liposuction, and the fat (all 100ml) was used to make a small amount of Biodiesel for Earthrace!

I think this mostly shows an extraordinary dedication to clever marketing. Unfortunately for the earth, Bethune isn’t all the chubby, so he enlisted a few “big, fat people” (his words) to together squeeze out 4 gallons of biodiesel. All in, this represents about 0.06% of the fuel Bethune will need to set the “Round the World Speed Record by a Powerboat.”

But the boat is certainly cool. It’s designed to pierce waves rather than ride over them. In tests, the boat has merrily burrowed under 40-foot monsters. Another fun fact: the boat comes equipped with an axe. If it tips, the crew will have to chop its way out.

Gimmicks aside, there actually is a highly credible way to turn body fat into a renewable energy source for transportation. The technology is low-cost and available in mass production today. Intrigued? Here’s a hint:

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  1. JL Johnson - December 26, 2007

    Wow… Well we all knew biodiesel could be made out of just about anything. I think we’ve all wondered whether or not human fat was one of those things, this crazy guy answered the question many of us were afraid to ask.

    Now then.. Where’s that fat vacuum?

  2. Marthajoy - January 1, 2008

    Seems to me the expense of liposuction would more than outweigh (ha!) the savings from making fuel from the fat.