Mike Stevens | Sep 7, 2009

FOLLOWING A 2007 TREK covering 3000 kilometres from Darwin to Adelaide, the University of Adelaide's BioBike is now set to depart on a 20,000 kilometre round-Australia trip, eclipsing the 2007 ride.

Conceived by Dr Colin Kestrell and built by the University's Mechanical Engineering students, the BioBike - also known as Betty - will be ridden by author and former offshore oil rigger, Paul Carter.

Unique enough as a diesel motorcycle, the bike takes things a step further by running on used cooking oil and waste fats.

Carter, and the University of Adelaide, is hoping to raise awareness of the potential for used cooking oil as a viable alternative to hydrocarbons as a fuel source.

The average speed of the ride's highway component will be around 95km/h, and Carter expects to use a total of about 650 litres for the trip.

Proving itself in the Panasonic World Solar Challenge in 2007, where it won the major environment award, 'Betty' is capable of impressive fuel economy and carbon output figures: achieving around 3.5 l/100km while releasing only 71g/km of CO2.

"This experience showed that biodiesel can be used to power a commercial-type vehicle over long distances and that it can have a significant, positive impact on the environment," Dr Kestell says.

Carter and Betty will begin their journey in Adelaide, heading south-east to Melbourne, then up the east coast for an anti-clockwise circuit of Australia.


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