According to Pure Energy Systems, the diesel-engined Troupy made the 3,000 kilometer-drive using a fuel called Bios Fuel H2W+, which is 40 percent water and 60 percent waste mineral oil.
Here's how PES describes it:
Bios Fuel claims to have developed a water-based fuel technology that allows hydrogen to be housed safely in water and released on demand for numerous applications. A proprietary catalyst allows water to be suspended in waste oil as an emulsion. The fuel is designed for power generation. It is one of several blends that Bios Fuel has certified to American ASTM standards.
While it is not designed for vehicles, it ran well in the 1989 Toyota Landcruiser Troop Carrier, or "Troupy" as they are affectionately called in the outback. "We thought testing in a harsh environment such as the Australian desert would demonstrate the viability of our fuel beyond doubt, and show that 2nd and 3rd generation waste can be combined with water to provide an energy source", said Bios Fuel founder and CEO Steve Ryan. "Using an old Troupy shows that you don't necessarily have to compromise lifestyle to reduce your effect on the environment".
There is a history of hype surrounding the idea of placing water into a vehicle's fuel tank, but I'll say - for now - that this appears to be legit. NZ Biofuels sent out a press release on the accomplishment and biosfuel.org has a slick PDF on H2W+ (and related fuels). If you've got a critical take on this fuel (or want to sing its praises), please share it with our readers in the comments below. It seems difficult to fake traveling 3,000 km in a media-rich environment like the Panasonic World Solar Challenge, doesn't it?
[Source: Sterling D. Allan / Pure Energy Systems News, h/t to Tim]