Biofuel baby booster

A converted fire truck makes the journey from Alaska to Argentina using alternative fuel.

When Baby, the converted fire truck, arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina it marked the end of a successful alternative-fuelled overland educational journey by two tenacious members of the Oil+Water Project team.

Seth Warren and Tyler Bradt, both from Montana, manned the converted Japanese fire truck, which ran exclusively on biofuels - not a drop of petroleum. Baby departed from a northern point of Alaska in July 2006 and, over nine months, travelled the length of the American continent down to the south of Argentina. Baby logged 21,000 miles at a top speed of 50 miles per hour as she headed south. Relying on the generosity of locals along their route, O+WP was fuelled entirely for free using a variety of oils, such as canola, soy, palm, fish, and pig.

Focused not only on completing the nine-month long route, O+WP was also dedicated to raising awareness of alternative energy and biofuels along the way. O+WP visited a total of 32 schools throughout Central and South America with a total of 9,455 students coming into direct contact with the project.

National and international press conferences were held in 14 major cities throughout South America. Six different US Embassies (El Salvador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Argentina) hosted O+WP at various outreach events. Countless public demonstrations were also held along the entire route.

Following the endless summer, O+WP sought outdoor recreation opportunities along the way. Warren and Bradt, both professional whitewater kayakers, successfully paddled 37 whitewater rivers throughout Central and South America. O+WP also completed two first descents of previously un-run whitewater rivers. They also surfed at 14 different ocean locations.

"Who would have thought that this crazy trip truly had a clear and definitive end?" Warren says. "I can only sit back and marvel at all the amazing things that have happened. It was a magical experience. There were too many miraculous things that happened to keep it going when we were just on the edge of a complete disaster. 

"It would be impossible not to realise that the success was 100 per cent given to us from all the amazing people behind the scenes, on the side of the road and from the people that truly believed in the mission of O+WP." 

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