• Jul 27th 2011 at 4:00PM
  • 214
The Mercury Cougar XR7 had little measurable impact on the American automotive landscape, but the Cougar featured in TRANSLOGIC 64 is a little different--so much so that its owner even changed its name. Although "Beaver" is a strange moniker for a car, Chip Beam has a good reason for naming his ride after the trunk-chewing critter; after all, the Beaver XR7 runs on wood (or any other organic material) through a process called gasification. The wood is pressed into pellets to increase energy density, resulting in a longer burn. The pellets are then decomposed in an onboard furnace, which controls the burn by regulating oxygen levels. The result is a sort of charcoal type material that lets off hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane gases. These gases are then sent through further high temperature chambers, cooled somewhat, then released into the Beaver's V6 engine where combustion occurs.

Because the car's factory engine is still powering the vehicle, all the car's original accessories still function. The radio, air-conditioning, power windows and safety equipment all work as they were designed

The original 1990 Mercury Cougar XR7 uses a supercharged V6 (the LS model was not supercharged), which makes it an ideal donor for gasification conversion. The supercharger forces more gas into the engine cylinders, resulting in a wood-burning car that feels more like the gasoline powered vehicles we're all used to.

The car is still using an internal combustion engine, but it's not direct combustion like a gasoline powered car. In the Beaver, the material can be burned more completely because it's burned at a higher temperature than gasoline burns inside the engine of a modern automobile. This makes the wood burning car cleaner because the fuel source has been burned almost completely, leaving no ash or particulate matter.

There's even a way you can use garbage to run the Beaver. By soaking any organic material in water, even garbage, then using a press to make bricks, those bricks can be loaded into the gasifier and will run the car.

It may come as a surprise to some that the idea of running a vehicle on gasified organic material isn't new. During World War II many buses, tractors and even personal vehicles throughout Europe were powered by wood/gas generators. The downside is that the amount of energy stored in a wood pellet isn't nearly as much as that stored in gasoline. A wood burning car might not be as quick or powerful as a gasoline powered car, but, add it to the list of intriguing alternatives to burning fossil fuels.

Click the image below to watch TRANSLOGIC 64: Wood Burning Beaver XR7:


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  • 214 Comments
      trslynx
      • 4 Years Ago
      You could hook up a composting toilet to it and go as you GO!
      • 4 Years Ago
      America used to be the land of invention and innovation, but now the Government rules us with fear and intimidation with smoke and mirrors, and good cop bad cop, and what ever manufactured crisis they can get the public to bite on, so what ever is an up and comming idea will be degraded and pushed aside so the Government agenda can be furthered.
      comhunt00
      • 4 Years Ago
      While we are on the subject of BAD SCIENCE...­..........­....there is no need to buy "Organic" Foods.....­..Contrary to what we "learn" in the MEDIA.....­.Modern agricultur­e techniques use ONLY safe Pesticides and Fertilizer­s that were developed in the 1960s and tested for over 60 years and they DO NOT gound water in any way.......­... In addition..­..... there are very few Ma and Pop "Organic" farms.....­..95% of all Organic foods are grown by the same conglomera­te GIANTS that grow NON-ORGANI­C foods.....­...Finally­, NON-ORGANI­C foods are healthier, taste much better, and free of disease and cost more than 40% LESS than "ORGANIC" foods.....­......Enjo­y NON-ORGANI­C FOODS and stay healthier and SAVE BIG BUCKS.
      syntheticlubeguy
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ghostbusters III vehicle perhaps??
      Pat
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sounds to me as though a great deal of energy goes into compressing this organic matter into fuel for gasifying in order to power an internal combustion engine. Is the result a net reduction of pollution or, is it like the production of ethanol, a net increase in pollution? Has anyone checked?
      bargainbayusa
      • 4 Years Ago
      WELL THEY COULD GO BACK TO THE STEAM ENGINE THAT RUNS ON WOOD OR COAL OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT BURNS *** THIS IS NOTHING NEW * NOR DOES THE ARTICLE INFORM YOU WHERE ONE COULD GET THESE COMPRESSED WOOD PELLETS OR THE TOP SPEED YOU MIGHT ACHIEVE ******* ******************************************************************************************************************* LIKE MOST ARTICLES ON AOL ONE NEVER RECIEVES THE INFO YOU NEED *** VOTE OBAMMA OUT **
      zeroagenow
      • 4 Years Ago
      sounds like a fraud to me
      • 4 Years Ago
      Forest clear cutting can be eliminated by coppicing - a 2000 year old forestry practice. Carbon sequestration to make this car carbon-negative can be implemented by the use of the biochar residue as fertilizer. Sounds like an win-win-win.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How much wood would a wood car chug if a wood car could chug wood?
      Sekinu2
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sooo 22lbs of wood pellets to go 20 Miles..this thing is the most unfriendly environmetal car ever lol. To get 2lbs of pellets thats what 1 whole tree so to go on a trip you'd need like 2 tees just to go to work and home then if vaction of say 400 miles each way you need 40 entire trees.
      enough
      • 4 Years Ago
      So now we need to cut down all our trees and deforest our entire planet to run our cars. Yeah, that's a great choice to make. Glad somebody though of it.
        castloo
        • 4 Years Ago
        @enough
        Refuse, waste, scrap, garbage. Get it?? Stop filling our landfills with garbage and start using it for a viable source of energy. Organic waste for fuel. It would solve several problems. I don't think the idea is to convert ALL autos to this type of energy just some. It's going to take free thinkers and inventors to come up with new ideas. You sound like one of those who would scoff at the idea of a new fangled vehicle that could run without a horse in front of it. Cut down all of the trees!!!??? Sheeeeeze
        • 4 Years Ago
        @enough
        njtopit - look up coppicing, biochar and TLUD stoves.
      • 4 Years Ago
      We should make nuts a source of fuel, all the nuts that people don't really like, that means anything other than peanuts, cashews, pecans.
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