Eat more chocolate and help the environment

Society Materials 7 November 2007 07:53 (UTC +04:00)

Chocoholics can assuage any guilt they may feel after a new process was developed that turns the by-products of making chocolate into a biofuel -- meaning you can eat your chocolate and be eco-friendly.

A truck, fuelled by the biofuel, will set out from Poole on the English south coast to Mali in West Africa later this month on a charity mission.

"The chocolate waste used to be used in landfill. But now we can make it travel as biofuel," said organiser Andy Pag who will be one of the two drivers on the trip.

North western English firm Ecotec has taken waste from the chocolate manufacturing process, turned it into bio-ethanol and mixed it with vegetable oil to produce biodiesel.

Some biofuels have come under fire for either diverting much-needed food crops or leading to massive deforestation as land is cleared to grow crops specially for biofuel production.

"This is to show that you can have environmentally-friendly biofuels and that you don't have to convert normal diesel engines to use it," Pag told Reuters .

The BioTruck will depart on November 26 and is expected to take about three weeks to drive the 4,500 miles to Timbuktu where it will off-load a small biofuel production unit with the local MFC charity.

But vehicles using the novel product will not exude the sweet smell of success. "No! I'm afraid the exhaust doesn't smell of chocolate," said Pag.