Relying only on DIY solutions and minimal hardware, Dutch inventor Gijs Schalkx built a motorcycle by hand that runs entirely on methane gas sourced from local ponds and roadside ditches.
It’s difficult to integrate alternative energy sources into today’s world. While harnessing green energy for electricity and power is at the top of our minds, advancements in the technological world and societal norms constantly create new barriers and change the rules of the green game. Dutch inventor Gijs Schalkx knows this better than most. His most recent invention, the Slootmotor is a handbuilt scooter that runs entirely on methane gas sourced from local ponds.
Schalkx first begins by collecting methane gas with his homemade, manual well and pump. Built from what appears as a heavy-duty rubber swimming tube and some household appliances, including a steel air pump, Schalkx places the well and pump in a local pond or roadside ditch to harness the methane gas for Slootmotor. After giving the contraption some time to collect the methane gas from the pond’s or landfill’s surface, Schalkx connects the well and pump to his Slootmotor’s energy converter and pumps the collected methane gas by hand to be converted into power for his Slootmotor. Schalkx formed Slootmotor on the basis that methane gas will outlast preexisting alternative energy sources, considering the availability of methane gas in shallow waters like ponds and small ditches.
Requiring minimal hardware and DIY solutions to actually harvest the methane gas for energy consumption, Schalkx’s Slootmotor boasts an affordable and feasible build that can be deconstructed and rebuilt any number of times. Keeping all the tools and material needed for construction in a small leather pouch, riders of Slootmotor can rest assured knowing that even if the scooter breaks down, they can rebuild Slootmotor by hand from scratch. Additionally, the Slootmotor’s tiny engine keeps the scooter’s overall energy consumption low given that it doesn’t reach conventionally high speeds, reaching a maximum speed of 43 km/h (26 mph).
Designer: Gijs Schalkx