The World’s Fastest Vehicle Fueled by Vegetable Oil Showcased at DC Auto Show
by Robert E. Kozak and Joanne Ivancic (Advanced Biofuels USA) Dave Schenker, founder and president of the Greenspeed club came to the DC Auto Show to showcase the 1998 Chevy S-10 pickup, modified by Boise State University students to achieve two record-breaking runs in November 2011 at the Mojave Desert dry lakebed, El Mirage. Schenker first broke the previous 98 mph record for a vehicle fueled by vegetable oil with a 139 mph performance; and the next day broke their own record with a 155 mph run.
Currently working with Dave Schenker on this project are Patrick Johnston, mechanics and fabrication; Mike Van Kirk, lighting and electrical; Adrian Rothenbuhler, electrical and mechanical; Seth Feuerborn, modeling and mechanics; Ken Fukumoto, treasurer; Jenny Kniss, crew chief and safety.
They are looking forward to joining other speed freaks in August 2012 at Speedweek on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, working to break the 215 mph world land speed record for all vehicles in the Diesel Truck classification. To put this in perspective, Mike Journee on NewWest.Net reminds us that “Fewer people have gone 200 mph on land than have stood atop Mount Everest.”
And all this with raw biofuel.
Credit Schenker and club alumna and mechanical engineering student Jozey Mitcham with the initial fundraising and piecing together of the race truck.
As Jalopnik explains, “Team leader, Boise student Dave Schenker says his inspiration to play with diesel engines sprang from Rudolph Diesel’s original idea — to run farm equipment on fuel farmers could grow themselves.”
Schenker’s history of home-schooled education serves as a foundation to his dedication to a club formed to “give students the opportunity to gain real life experience working in an interdisciplinary environment while designing, building and racing a vegetable oil powered vehicle.”
To run on vegetable oil, that oil must first be heated in a specialized tank. Other modifications made over two and a half months during the summer of 2011 focused on giving the engine enough horsepower and the truck enough chassis strength and weight to achieve high speeds.
The members of Greenspeed use their Class C driving and engine licenses with the Southern California Timing Association to run in the Diesel Truck classification.
Although they started with vegetable oil, the club anticipates using other alternative fuels, perhaps connecting with other energy research conducted at Boise State. READ MORE and MORE (New West Energy) and MORE (Jalopnik) and MORE (Landspeed Louise)