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Wednesday, 02 July 2008 18:19

Prince Charles runs Aston Martin on wine and cheese

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The 2008 Annual Review of household expenses for the heir to the British throne, shows that Prince Charles has converted one car to run on wine and cheese while several others run on used cooking oil. All of which has helped reduce the Prince's carbon footprint by 18 percent while maintaining his reputation for eccentricity...

According to the Daily Mail newspaper the vintage Aston Martin sports car, a birthday present from the Queen, has been converted to allow it to run on wine. English wine of course. Oh, and don't forget the cheese!

The wine comes from a vineyard near Swindon in Wiltshire, England and is surplus stock that remains after strict European Union limits on wine production have been met. It is converted into bioethanol fuel by Green Fuels Limited, which supplies the Prince.

The Aston Martin has an average fuel consumption of just ten miles to the gallon, or around four and half bottles of wine to the mile. It is estimated that His Royal Highness only covers around 300 miles a year in the Aston Martin, so running a powerful sports car on wine might not be such a daft idea after all.

At around UKP £1.10 (AUD $2.27) a litre it is only very slightly cheaper than unleaded petrol in the UK, but that is missing the point. HRH is not doing this to save money, he is doing it to save the planet. Bioethanol produces something in the region of 85 percent less carbon dioxide than unleaded petrol.

By boiling off the alcohol in the wine, which is 11 percent in the case of this particular vintage, and then condensing it to remove any water the suppliers are able to produce 99.8 percent pure ethanol. Alcohol which comes from fermented whey produced during the production of local cheese, is then added to produce the bioethanol mixture.

Where do used cooking oil and flatulent cows enter the bizarre life of the future King of England? Read on to find out...

CONTINUED


Charles also has other cars which have been converted to run on biodiesel, including an Audi, Range Rover and 'several' Jaguars. The biodiesel is not boozed based however, unless your idea of a nice little tipple is swilling down used cooking oil that is.

Other carbon footprint friendly measures installed at his homes include sewage systems made from reed beds and boilers that burn wood chips.

File under strange but true, he is also said to feed his herds of cows on grass instead of grain as this reduces the amount of flatulence they experience. Less cow farting means less methane emissions, a greenhouse gas.

All of this has helped the Prince to reduce his carbon footprint by 18 percent to a still quite staggering 3,081 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Much of this can be accounted for by the amount of travel Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, undertake. A total of 37,000 miles last year.

His Royal Oddness has made a vow to reduce those emissions, cows included, by a total of 25 percent before 2012.

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