No gas, no problem. Dave Nichols's idea is powered by junk science, the junk being actual trash. "You can use wood, cups, cardboard, clothing, I even threw in a pair of boots in it in the past, it ran like a top!" said Nichols from the Killingly auto repair shop where he works. Nichols, who has an engineering background, retro fitted his 1989 Ford F-150 Pick-up to run on garbage using a process called "gasification". The chemical process starts with a hopper and a metal drum core reactor. "We generate a very high temperature, 2200 or 2400 degrees in a core and the machine basically drops the bio-mass into that core. Once that temperature is up it starves it of oxygen," Nichols added, "it creates a fairly powerful fuel and its clean." The hope is Nichols fledgling startup 21st Century Motor Works will be a key player in starting up all sorts of vehicles with the system he is in the process of patenting.

In the gasification process, used in street lamps in the 1870's, the trash doesn't burn it vaporizes, emitting power. Nichols estimates his tank free truck gets 120 Mph -- Miles Per Hopper, it drives like a normal car and reaches a top speed of about 85 miles per hour. Nichols is hopeful that, down the road, the new car smell will be that of a fireplace, "its just like a regular car except we just put wood in it and we go by every gas station waving."