Yi-Wen Tseng’s Methane-powered Concept Car Is Modelled On A Cow’s Digestive System

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London Layout Festival 2015: Royal School of Art graduate Yi-Wen Tseng has imagined a automobile powered by bio-printed organs, using synthetic biology to turn a cow’s digestive method into a fuel technique.

Digestive Car by Yi-Wen Tseng RCA for LDF

When designing the Digestive Vehicle, Tseng considered approaches to harness cows’ effectively-acknowledged tendency to expel big quantities of methane fuel.

By pairing the cow’s digestive method with 3D bio-printing – a process proposed for use in organ transplants – the designer identified a way to transform this into an possibility to generate an alternative fuel technique.

Digestive Car by Yi-Wen Tseng RCA for LDF

The transparent rear half of the car houses four synthetic stomachs – modelled on the quartet discovered in a cow – and every single of the organs facilitates a various method, such as filtration, methane manufacturing, and digestion.


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“There are 4 different contained hybrid stomachs utilised to fuel the car,” Tseng mentioned. “In order to monitor the wellness issue even though driving, the abdomen bags are turned within-out.”

Digestive Car by Yi-Wen Tseng RCA for LDF

The driver “feeds” the vehicle grass, which is digested to make methane and utilised to power the motor vehicle. The resulting excrement from the process is expelled like exhaust fumes and can be utilized as fertiliser for potential grass growing.

“The form and structure are developed to strengthen each bio-perform and also change the perform of muscle tissues,” explained the designer. “When the driver makes use of the stomachs to fuel the automobile, it returns a bio-waste.”

Digestive Car by Yi-Wen Tseng RCA for LDF

“By collecting the power from nature it is then contributed back into the environment,” she additional. “This bio-car procedure represents the circulation of ecological techniques. Rather than designing a practical practical solution, this is a radical vital item style.”


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RCA graduate Julian Melchiorri also experimented with synthetic biology, creating an artificial leaf that could soak up water and carbon dioxide to give oxygen, and potentially help in prolonged-distance room travel.

Digestive Car by Yi-Wen Tseng RCA for LDF

Meanwhile designer and researcher Neri Oxman utilised 3D printing to generate “wearable skins” with hollow channels that could host microorganisms.

“The Digestive Automobile explores a new aesthetic of bio-merchandise, to open discussion about the concerns surrounding worldwide warming,” Tseng commented. “These speculative, self-ample fuel sources will give a new energy long term and a cleaner environment.”

Digestive Car by Yi-Wen Tseng RCA for LDFDisgram

Tseng came up with the notion even though learning on the RCA’s Design Interactions program, which was formerly run by designer Anthony Dunne. Other projects from current DI graduates contain proposals to set up tiny turbines in the arteries of genetically modified cows and a new immunisation method that requires inhaling vaccines via fungus.

Digestive Car by Yi-Wen Tseng RCA for LDFDrawing

The Digestive Automobile was between projects proven at the Royal University of Art’s Sustain exhibition, which opened to coincide with the London Design and style Festival 2015 and continues until 2 October 2015.

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