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Dutch Inventor Modifies His Bike to Run on Methane Extracted from Pond, Takes 8 Hours to Fill

(Photo Courtesy: Algemeen Dagblad)

(Photo Courtesy: Algemeen Dagblad)

Gijs Schalkx, who hates big companies making false promises to make this world a better place, thought of providing his own fuel for his modified motorcycle.

What may seem too far-fetched, may not always be unreal. A Dutch engineering student is determined to make a difference and is ready to go all the way. Inventor of Sloot motor, Gijs Schalkx, who hates big companies making false promises to make this world a better place, thought of providing his own fuel. Schalkx believes in first-hand experiments and so he went down to the depth of a pond to harvest gas that will fuel his motorcycle.

Learning from his website and his YouTube channel, it becomes apparent that climate change can be countered without having to rely on corporate products. Schalkx himself converted the modified Honda GX160 motorcycle engine used by Sloot Motor. The young Dutchman drilled a hole into the engine’s airbox, from where it gets the methane supply. Basically, he wanted to come up with a motorcycle that runs on the gas he himself harvests from bogs. This methane is harvested from ponds by hand and then used to fuel his moped.

In the video, we see that Schalkx hooks a balloon to the hole which powers the engine. The engine starts with gas, but once it is running, it can use the accumulated methane to keep going. Hoeing in a ditch for about eight hours provides him with fuel sufficient to fill the tank and ride his motorcycle for 20 km. It cannot be compared to the convenience of charging an electric battery or filling up a gasoline tank. The vehicle achieves a top speed of 43 km/h.

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Greenhouse gases, especially methane, can be easily found in the depths of shallow ponds and ditches. These gases are released by the decay or breakdown of organic material. Schalkx first got the idea when he came across a story about a fisherman who collected methane from the water by hanging out a special tank behind his boat. The man later fished and used that fuel to “fry the fish at home on methane gas he also caught himself.”

In an interview with Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, the inventor said “Why depend on big corporations and their promises to save the world when you can do it yourself?” Schalkx just graduated from the ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem, Product Design department.

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He is a fan of Art of Motorcycle Maintenance author Robert M. Pirsig and futurist Buckminster Fuller and Zen.

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first published:July 15, 2021, 12:05 IST