When I saw the headline about a bus that runs on “poo”, I was sure that it must be a joke. As it turns out, the poo bus is not a joke and is now shuttling people back and forth from Bristol Airport to Bath City Center. Once one gets past the word “poo”, then the technology speaks for itself and represents an efficient way to produce clean, sustainable, renewable energy.
While some may see the sewage and food waste as pretty disgusting, the Bristol sewage treatment works sees it as a valuable resource capable of producing enough biomethane fuel to meet the annual energy needs of 8,300 homes from their facility alone. According to their view, poo and old food should never be tossed into landfills or incinerated when it can be ultimately used to replace 10% of the U.K.’s domestic gas needs.
The poo bus itself can travel up to 186 miles on a single tank of biomethane fuel, which requires the annual waste of five people to make. Even better, the bus gives off 30% less carbon emissions than diesel vehicles. Perhaps one of these days our toilets and garbage chutes will all be connected directly to our houses and cars.
A bus that runs on poo sure sounds funny. I could not help but think about what it would be like to be in a car behind the poo bus on a hot, summer day. The truth is, however, that this amazing green energy opportunity has nothing to do with how we feel about human sewage and food waste, and everything to do with what it becomes after the anaerobic process: green gold.
For more information on the poo bus, please refer to the following articles:
UK's first 'poo bus' hits the road November 20th 2014
Eco-friendly Bristol 'poo bus' powered by human waste, November 20th, 2014
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