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Le tour du monde à l’huile de friture

Le tour du monde à l'huile de friture
Le Britannique Andy Pag, trente-six ans, a effectué un tour du monde au volant d'un bus alimenté à l'huile de friture. Un exploit retentissant...

Il a un look vaguement hippie et on l’aurait tout aussi bien vu manifester auprès de paysans français contre l’extension du camp militaire du Larzac au début des années 1970 ou sillonner les routes américaines au volant d’un van Volkswagen toussotant et badigeonné de fleurs. Andy Pag n’a cependant pas la tête à Woodstock. Ce citoyen britannique de trente-six ans vit avec son temps et est devenu vendredi dernier le symbole de l’efficacité des biocarburants, les « propres », les « vrais », ceux qui proviennent de déchets, pas ceux dont l’empreinte environnementale est au bout du compte plus élevée que celle de ces essences traditionnelles dont l’éco-citoyen de base ne veut plus, qui encouragent la déforestation et qui affament les populations des pays en développement.

Débuté le 29 septembre 2009 au départ de Londres (Grande-Bretagne), le tour du monde qu’il vient d’achever était, son originalité mise à part, un sacré défi : il s’agissait en effet de parcourir la planète au volant d’un vieil autobus scolaire Mercedes promis à finir broyé et alimenté à l’huile de friture usagée ! Entièrement rénové à l’intérieur à partir de matériaux récupérés, surmonté de panneaux solaires parce qu’Andy Pag tenait vraiment à ce que le périple soit le plus écolo possible, le véhicule et son conducteur l’ont relevé, démontrant par là-même qu’avec un peu de volonté, beaucoup d’imagination et la passion de la planète, rares sont les missions réellement impossibles. Roulant au départ au diesel, le bus (préalablement acheté à un ferrailleur qui ne donnait pas cher de sa peau) a été équipé d’un réservoir à huile de mille deux cents litres et pourvu d’un système de filtrage placé sous la couchette pour pouvoir parcourir trente-mille kilomètres à travers vingt-cinq pays en attentant le moins possible à l’atmosphère.

Andy Pag n’est cependant pas l’homme d’un seul fait d’armes : en 2007 déjà, il avait conduit à Tombouctou (Mali) un camion abreuvé d’un biodiesel élaboré à partir de beurre de cacao sans la moindre anicroche. D’aucuns pourraient se demander pourquoi cet éco-aventurier un brin déjanté consacre autant de temps à de telles entreprises. L’intéressé a révélé qu’elles ont trouvé leur source dans les estimations d’éminents scientifiques selon lesquels les pires effets du réchauffement climatique sur l’Homme seront évités si chaque individu parvient à réduire son impact écologique de deux tonnes de CO2 par an d’ici 2050.  Dans certains pays développés, la diminution devrait ainsi atteindre de 80 à 90 % et Andy Pag avait à coeur de savoir si un tel « sacrifice carbone » était réalisable et quelles concessions il pouvait impliquer.

Que ces spécialistes soient ou non dans le vrai, McDonald’s et les compagnies aériennes KLM et Finnair, trois sociétés qui ont elles aussi jeté leur dévolu sur les carburants alternatifs conçus à partir d’huile de friture, ont dû apprécier la prouesse. Nous aussi.

Crédits photos : flickr / Bruce Turner - Wikimedia Commons – Guilhem Vellut
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