The UK Now Has A Bus That's Powered By Poop

Written by Emi Boscamp

With global climate change already affecting people's lives in tangible ways, countries around the world are unveiling new strategies to reduce their carbon footprints. The Netherlands built the first solar road, Tesla is making electric cars mainstream, and now the UK has a poop bus.

Yes, it's exactly what you think: a bus powered by human waste.

According to the BBC, the gas that runs the "Bio-Bus" is generated through anaerobic digestion, which is when oxygen-starved bacteria breaks down biodegradable materials to produce methane-rich gas.

The 40-seater can travel 186 miles on a single tank, which is the equivalent of five people's annual waste. Using this fuel, up to 30% less carbon dioxide is emitted compared to conventional diesel engines, which is significant because the bus' route — between between Bath and Bristol Airport — is very popular, carrying about 10,000 passengers a month.

"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, the general manager of GENeco, the Wessex Water subsidiary whose sewage provides the biomethane gas that powers the bus.

Fortunately, the bus does not emit silent-but-deadly flatulence out of its tail pipe. Before being used as fuel, the impurities are removed from the gas so that it produces virtually odor-free emissions.

We think the rest of the world should take a page from Bristol's book. If this type of fuel spreads worldwide, our time spent flipping through magazines on our porcelain thrones would feel a lot more productive.

Photo via GENeco

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