Poo-Powered Bus Brings New Meaning to Natural Gas

A new British bus could be considered quite a “gas-guzzler” as it is the first to run entirely on human waste and discarded food. Introduced last Thursday, the Bio-Bus runs on biomethane gas generated by treated sewage, and food waste unfit for human consumption.

Image courtesy of  GENeco

Image courtesy of GENeco

The 40-seat bus not only produces lower emissions than a conventional diesel engine would, but it prevents more refuse from polluting the earth as well. Charlotte Morton, chief executive of Anaerobic Digestions and Bioresources, said, “The bus also clearly shows that human poo and our waste food are valuable resources. Food which is unsuitable for human consumption should be separately collected and recycled through anaerobic digestion into green gas and biofertilisers, not wasted in landfill sites or incinerators.”

The bus can travel up to 186 miles on one tank of the “poo fuel,” or the equivalent of one year of waste for about five people (depending on how much Mexican food they ate). The Bath Bus Company is spearheading the initiative, taking passengers between Bath and the Bristol Airport. The company expects up to 10,000 passengers to travel the line in the first month. Besides breaking wind straight to the airport, the bus will also make stops at Saltford, Keynsham, Brislington, Knowle, and Hengrove.

In addition to fueling the Bio-Bus, the Bristol Sewage Treatment Works, where the gas is passed…erm…produced, has another project underway. The number-two plan is to inject biomethane into the national grid network. Mohammed Saddiq, general manager of the company overseeing the treatment plant, said, “Through treating sewage and food that’s unfit for human consumption we’re able to produce enough biomethane to provide a significant supply of gas to the national gas network that’s capable of powering almost 8,500 homes as well as fuelling the Bio-Bus.” By using this “green gas,” a home can replace about 10 percent of the UK’s domestic gas needs.

The Bristol Sewage Treatment Works can process 75 million cubic meters of sewage waste and 35,000 tons of food waste each year. The waste comes from households, supermarkets, and food manufacturers that normally put this waste into landfills.

With the success of the Bio-Bus, it just goes to show we shouldn’t poo poo alternative forms of energy.



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  • anneleia

    wow! what a good idea!

  • Carolearn1

    A fragrant Candlemas to you!