Page last updated at 06:03 GMT, Friday, 4 September 2009 07:03 UK

Racing car made out of nut shells

The car can reach speed of 130 miles per hour
The car can reach speeds of up to 130 miles per hour

Many people's first vehicle costs peanuts, but a team of Northern Ireland researchers have helped take that a step further by building a racing car using cashew nut shells.

The Formula Three vehicle, which is world's first sustainable racing car, has been constructed using sustainable and recycled products - including hemp, soybean oil, potato starch and recycled bottles.

It runs on bio-diesel and has a top speed of 130mph.

The car has already appeared at this year's Goodwood's Festival of Speed and was driven by A1 Grand Prix champion racing driver Adam Carroll.

Dr Julie Soden, researcher at the University of Ulster (UU), helped make a barge board which is positioned behind the front wheels.

"It is exciting and refreshing to see an actual product coming out of the research lab," she said.

"The next step in the process is the testing and improvement of the first design, so the initial work will be built upon to show the full potential and the scope of the research.

"While the safety critical parts are not made from sustainable materials, the racing car is evidence of the significant advances made by researchers into what is readily achievable in the sustainable composites field."

The project was undertaken in collaboration with the University of Warwick's Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre.

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