America has the Tesla electric car, Britain has… a poop bus. Bristol Airport now has a bus that will shuttle people to Bath city centre, powered solely by human and food waste.
To be specific, it’s the biomethane gas produced by the anaerobic digestion treatment of said waste that the bus runs on. Anaerobic digestion sees oxygen starved bacteria breaking down biodegradable materials, with methane-rich gas a by product of the process.
The 40-seater can travel 300km on a single tank, which is the equivalent of five people’s annual waste. The gas is stored in dome-like tanks on the bus’s roof, with the vehicle emitting 30 per cent less carbon dioxide compared to a conventional diesel engine.
“Gas-powered vehicles have an important role to play in improving air quality in UK cities but the Bio-Bus goes further than that and is actually powered by people living in the local area, including quite possibly those on the bus itself,” said Mohammed Saddiq, general manager at GENeco, the Wessex Water subsidiary whose Avonmouth sewage works provides the biomethane gas that powers the bus. [BBC]
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