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Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010
Bang goes the coffee in drive for science in Manchester
Bang Goes The Theory presenter Jem Stansfield in coffee-powered car
The equivalent of 10,000 espressos are needed to drive the car to Manchester

A coffee-powered car is being driven to Manchester to give a lift to a major science fair in the city.

The car, a 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco, has been built by the team behind hit BBC science show Bang Goes The Theory.

It's being driven 210 miles from London to Manchester by presenter Jem Stansfield who'll be stopping at schools along the way.

It arrives on the opening day of the Big Bang Science Fair at Manchester Central (11 - 13 March 2010).

Before setting off, Jem said: "It's important for kids to understand that power is not something that is simply there at the flick of a switch.

"With the energy challenge facing the world, the more we encourage children to think about alternative fuels, where energy is stored and how it can be released, the better!"

Bang Goes The Theory presenters
BBC One's popular TV science series
launches nationwide roadshow in Manchester
65,000 people saw its live science shows in 2009
second series starts 7.30pm on Mon 15th March

With a top speed of 60mph, the car works by converting the coffee grounds into flammable gases that can be used in the engine instead of petrol.

However, the team admits that coffee is not the fuel of the future: the car will use the equivalent of 10,000 espressos for the journey - but will have to stop every hour to clean out its filters!

Visitors to the fair will be able to see live performances of Bang Goes The Theory, meet the show's presenters Jem Stansfield, Dallas Campbell, Liz Bonnin and check out Dr Yan's street science.


More than 15,000 people are registered to attend the free Big Bang Science Fair event at Manchester Central.

Big Bang shows include:

  • 'Brainiac Live'
  • Punk Science: Climate Change
  • Lab in a Lorry
  • Design a jet engine workshop
  • The secret life of robots
  • BBC 21CC
  • 2009 Royal Institution Christmas lecture

Children forming human periodic table

On-site attractions include a range of interactive science exhibits, theatre, workshops and events showcasing the best in British science, engineering and technology.

For instance, visitors to Siemens engineering stand can drive a Formula One car on a race simulator and sit in the hot seat of an electric-powered sports car.

The Greenster has been developed by Siemens and car-manufacturer Ruf, is based on a Porsche 911 Turbo and has zero carbon emissions.

On the final day, visitors can meet Manchester-based Ric Egington, member of the GB Rowing team who has used technology to improve his performance.

The 2010 Big Bang: UK Young Scientists' and Engineers' Fair is at Manchester Central (11 - 13 March 2010).

Pupils form elements for Big Bang
22 Jan 10 |  Things to do



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