Andy Pag, 34, from London, and 39-year-old John Grimshaw, from Poole, will drive more than 4,500 miles to Timbuktu, in Mali, in a bid to raise public awareness about biofuels and the role they can play in reducing the impact of climate change.

Their vehicles will run on a fuel created by Lancashire-based biodiesel producers Ecotech, who have developed a process to turn waste chocolate – yes, such a thing does exist – into bioethanol.

The chocolate waste would otherwise end up in landfill.

Mr Pag said he hoped the trip would make more people realise that ordinary diesel cars can run on biodiesel without any adaptations.

He told edie: “Biodiesel, when it is properly made, will run on any vehicle.

“We have chosen Timbuktu as a destination partly because it is the back of beyond so if we can make it there on biodiesel, anyone can drive anywhere on biofuel.”

Timbuktu was also picked as the destination because it is already feeling the effects of climate change, Mr Pag said.

Mr Pag, who has 15 years of experience organising driving expeditions across Africa and the world, added: “I’m not an environmentalist – I’m just someone who wants to be able to go and explore the world without leaving a trail of carbon in my wake.”

The team will drive a Ford Iveco Cargo lorry for most of the journey, which will carry two 4×4 landcruisers that they will have to use for the last 200km of the journey. All three vehicles will run on biodiesel.

They will also deliver a biodiesel processing unit to MFC, a Malian charity, which will allow biodiesel to be produced locally from used cooking oil.

Mr Pag and Mr Grimshaw hope to complete their journey shortly before Christmas and will remain in Mali for the festive season.

Kate Martin

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