10 Alternative Fuel Ideas That Never Made It Out of the Lab


Dead Cats

No cats were harmed during the writing of this article.
No cats were harmed during the writing of this article.
Michael Blann/Getty Images

Could you use cat corpses to fuel your vehicle? If you could, would you want to? A German newspaper reported in 2005 that an inventor had developed a fuel system that could be powered by garbage, including deceased felines.

The story, soon picked up by Internet news sites, included the gruesome fact that a full tank of fuel would require 20 cats. The article even offered some comments from at least one outraged animal rights supporter.

Like many bizarre stories, this one had a grain of truth. Dr. Christian Koch did indeed invent a machine that can convert garbage such as paper, plastics and yard waste into biodiesel fuel. There was no mention of cats, however. The whole dead-cat angle was apparently invented by a ghoulish, but creative reporter. Koch's KDV 500 device can supposedly turn trash into gas at a steep discount compared to prices at the pump [source: Deutsche Welle].

Like many claims of revolutionary energy sources, we're still waiting to see the results -- dead cats excluded.

Up next, an idea for an alternative fuel that some people may find difficult to part with -- especially on a hot summer day.