Power Pallet: Carbon-Negative Biomass Power Generators


Tue, Apr 1st, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

The gasification process allows the Arduino-controlled Power Pallet to extract hydrogen from waste biomass -- corn cobs, wood chips, peanut shells -- in order to power a car engine in an entirely carbon-negative way. The car engine, in turn, produces electricity, enough to power three homes -- the only downside is that you need to refill the tank every four hours. The generator is made by All Power Labs, "an upstart alternative-energy concern in the industrial wastelands of far west Berkeley, California." From the article on Fast Company:

The Power Pallet was born in the brain of Jim Mason, a 46-year-old engineer-anthropologist and Burning Man installation artist who has been rabble-rousing in the Bay Area for the better part of two decades. It is based on an arcane and mostly forgotten process known as gasification, which turns organic junk into gas. It's basically the same idea as the Mr. Fusion that powers Doc Brown's time-traveling DeLorean in Back to the Future, which is why APL's logo is an exact rip-off of the one you'll see if you freeze and enlarge frames from the movie.

Last summer, APL sold its 500th gasifier system, five years after the first, and in its brief and colorful life, the company has evolved from a gang of metal fetishists seeking to answer the question "What would power look like if it were art?" into a $5-million-per-year (and growing) business sustained entirely by sales, with the potential to be much higher.



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