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Chocolates: A gift from the God of Wisdom

Updated on May 14, 2016
Proud parents of the chocolate powered Formula 3 racing car get set for a spin
Proud parents of the chocolate powered Formula 3 racing car get set for a spin


Chocolate comes from the tropical cocoa bean, Theobroma cacao or known as food of the gods. Dating back to 1900 BC, the Aztecs believed that cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoati, the God of wisdom, and the seeds had so much value they were used as a form of currency.

Growing up in the early 60's to a middle class family, chocolates were always a luxury for me. Father was just starting to raise a family. He was a Civil Engineer. In those days, imported corned beefs, apples, sunkist, and cheese were a luxury. Yet, father would always bring home some of those for us and to top it all, imported chocolates. Overjoyed, like any other little girls, it propelled me to twirl or do a pirouette.

The University of Warwick responsible for the chocolate powered Formula 3 car. From left, Dr Steve Maggs, Dr Kerry Kirwan and Dr James Meredith
The University of Warwick responsible for the chocolate powered Formula 3 car. From left, Dr Steve Maggs, Dr Kerry Kirwan and Dr James Meredith

Unsweetened, Bitter Water

The Aztec Xocolati, meaning "bitter water," made of pounded cocoa beans and spices was probably extremely bitter. Aztec King Montezuma so believed that chocolate was an aphrodisiac that he drank 50 golden goblets of it each day. It was said that it gave one power over women.

After the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, chocolate was imported to Europe. It quickly became a court favorite there. It was still served as a beverage, but the Spanish added sugar or honey to counteract the natural bitterness. Within about a hundred years, chocolate entrenched a foothold throughout Europe.

Food lovers and chefs all over the world concocted recipes were chocolate was of significance. From bittersweet to sweetened, adding 35% of chocolate liquor or 12% of milk. Liquid chocolate, developed especially for baking, is found on supermarket shelves alongside other chocolates.

Chocolates as Biodiesel

Now on our millenium, who would ever think of using chocolate as fuel source or as biodiesel? Engineers and scientists attest, chocolate burn cleaner than petroleum fuels, and will help diversify the scope of recycling and related inputs to the energy economy. Now chocolate is making its way into the biodiesel game.

So, how does chocolate biodiesel work? It is actually the waste byproducts made by industrial production of chocolate for human consumption. Those waste byproducts often simply small chunks, flakes or “misshapes” of chocolates are concentrated into biodiesel, which can be burned to produce locomotion in motor vehicles.

There has been much speculation about using chocolate as biofuel, but in May 5, 2009 the creation of chocolate powered Formula 3 car by engineers and scientists at the University of Warwick, England has been completed. On this day, was the first day it has actually been ready to drive.

The chocolate powered Formula 3 racing car looks the part
The chocolate powered Formula 3 racing car looks the part


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