According to a Vice article, Gijs Schalkx, a Dutch innovator and engineering student, converted his motorcycle to operate on methane, which he had to carefully gather from roadside swamps and ponds. The Sloot Motor, which Schalkx describes as “made to outlast any type of energy future because shallow waters will always be there,” was created using a modified Honda GX160 motorbike engine.
According to Schalkx’s website, he punched a hole in the engine’s airbox to allow methane to enter. The collected methane is then fed into the engine through a balloon attached to the hole.
The Sloot Motor was not designed to be a practical alternative to electric or internal combustion motorbikes; it had a peak speed of only 27 mph (43 km/h). Instead, the idea was intended to persuade people to rethink their relationship with technology.
“If the world we live in is causing global collapse, over-extraction of resources, and inequality all over the world, why do we continue to believe in progress via growth?” According to Schalkx’s website. “A goal we are mindlessly pursuing without considering the impact and relying on technology to save us.”
You have to struggle for your miles on a methane motorbike
Collecting the methane required for a trip is a time-consuming process that necessitates using a gadget created by Schalkx named a ‘Plompstation.’
The Plompstation progressively collects methane, which is naturally created by natural decomposition in ponds and swamps, using an inverted container. The user can pump the methane to a fuel container using a pressure pump.
According to Schalkx, it takes around eight hours of harvesting the pond to speed up the methane-collecting process in order to go about 12 miles (20 kilometers) on the Sloot Motor. You could say it’s hardly worth it.
Nonetheless, Schalkx stresses on his website that his motorbike was designed for necessity rather than convenience. “We don’t need to move fast where we’re going. More speed equals more horsepower, which equals more CCs, which equals more fuel consumption, “Schalkx explains.
He also adds that “everywhere in the Netherlands, it is simple to find a little pond or ditch that will serve as a source of fuel.” Of all, methane is a plentiful and flexible fuel source, as recently demonstrated by a South Korean toilet that collects the gas from human feces to help power a student building.
If credible sources, such as MIT, are to be trusted, Schalkx’s methane-powered motorcycle may not be that insane after all. It appears to be a hassle to refuel, but it should function regardless of the circumstances.
Watch the video below to see Schalkx utilizing the Plompstation and driving his Sloot Motor