Fuel prices are on the rise, and battery power is the future, but what about other alternatives? What about methane? A Dutch engineer thought outside the box and headed for the swamp to power his moped.
Gijs Schalkx is said Dutch engineer, and he made the “Sloot Motor”, which translates to Ditch Motor from Dutch to English. The Honda in question is a GX160, which is four-stroke and features a large balloon at the back for the precious fuel.
Where does Schalkx get the fuel you ask? Well, he heads on over to his local pump, of course! Refueling appears to be a tedious process, but completely free. Schalkx dons some overalls and then proceeds to pump the methane gas into his container. The pump actually has a name, and Schalkx calls it the “plompstation.” Afterward, he then reattaches his contraption on the bike, then goes on his merry way.
The old Honda had a hole drilled into its airbox to allow the methane to get sucked in by the motor. Schalkx said that he was on a “quest on keeping the combustion engine alive in a fossil-free future.” The old GX has come a long way, and it appears to be running smoothly on methane gas.
Now, you may be thinking that this could be the wave of the future and that it is time to start raiding your local swamps for all the methane that it has. While it seems like a good idea, in practice, it’s a bit tedious to pump naturally occurring methane from a local swap. The activity of refueling could take up to eight hours, and even then you’ll only get just about 7.5 miles or 12 kilometers of range out of a fully inflated methane balloon.
On top of that, the apparatus is quite clunky. It’s even more cumbersome than some panniers or a big top box, not to mention that methane isn’t exactly good for the environment once combusted.
The biggest question on my mind would be: “How much power does it actually make on methane?”