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UK's first "poo bus"!

News   •   Jan 29, 2015 15:42 CET

The UK's first bus powered entirely  by human and food waste has gone into service between Bristol and Bath. The 40-seat "Bio-Bus" runs on biomethane gas generated through the treatment  of sewage and food waste.

The eco-friendly vehicle can travel up to 300km (186 miles) on one tank of  gas, which takes the annual waste of about five people to produce.

It is run by tour operator Bath Bus Company and will shuttle people between  Bristol Airport and Bath city centre.

The biomethane gas is generated at Bristol sewage treatment works in  Avonmouth, which is run by GENeco, a subsidiary of Wessex Water.

GENeco general manager Mohammed Saddiq said: "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."

How do you power a bus with waste?

  • A single passenger's annual food and sewage waste would fuel the Bio-Bus for  37 miles (60km)
  • Its combustion engine is similar in design to diesel equivalents in  conventional buses
  • Compressed gas is stored in dome-like tanks on the roof of the Bio-Bus
  • The gas is generated through anaerobic digestion - where oxygen starved  bacteria breaks down biodegradable material to produce methane-rich biogas
  • To power a vehicle, the biogas undergoes "upgrading", where carbon dioxide  is removed and propane added
  • Impurities are removed to produce virtually odour free emissions
  • Compared to conventional diesel vehicles, up to 30% less carbon dioxide is  emitted
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