CARS TO RUN ON CHOCOLATE
An update on this and Andy Pag's new plan to fly to China on trash HERE
Cars could soon be running on chocolate rather than petrol and diesel - thanks to one forward thinking Bamber Bridge firm.
Ecotec has developed a new environmentally-friendly fuel which uses waste chocolate as its main ingredient.
And now after months of testing and research, the biofuel will face its biggest test - getting a truck 1,500 miles from London to the West African desert city of Timbuktu in Mali.
The firm, in School Lane, makes the fuel by turning the waste chocolate into bio-ethanol and then mixing it with vegetable oil sourced from restaurants across Preston and South Ribble.
Expedition leader Andrew Pag believes it is the world's first carbon negative trip of this size.
He said: "I have been on expeditions before and I realised how big our carbon footprint must have been in doing those so we thought about a way of offsetting that with a carbon negative challenge.
"We have been working with Ecotec for a few months now and we think it is great that they have developed this fuel from what is essentially waste chocolate.
"I was also concerned about negative public reaction to biodiesel and wanted to raise awareness that not all biodiesels are bad and by using waste sources it's not impacting on food sources."
Ecotec is also providing the BioTruck team with a small biodiesel production unit which will be given to the Mali-Folkecenter (MFC), a charity which promotes sustainable development and renewable energy. The MFC will use it to produce biodiesel locally from sustainable sources.
Andrew Hodgson, sales and marketing manager at Ecotec, said he hopes the expedition to Mali will be something the company can build on.
He said: "We have had a lot of fun developing this and I think that we would definitely be looking to get involved in other things with Andy and the guys."
Greenpeace said it backed the expedition warned that the production of biodiesel on a larger scale could ultimately be bad for the environment.
A spokesman said: "Using waste food products - like chocolate - as an alternative to fossil fuels is a great idea. Unfortunately the volumes involved are small and there isn't enough to provide for the whole country. Other types of biofuels actually risk pushing up food prices and causing the destruction of tropical forests. This is seriously bad news for the climate."