The 40-seater ‘Bio-Bus’ is fuelled by biomethane gas, generated by the treatment of sewage and food waste at a processing plant in the south west and a single tank of the gas – produced using the typical annual waste of just five people – is enough to power the vehicle for 190 miles (305km).
The gas is being produced at a Wessex Water sewerage plant, run by energy firm GENeco.
Mohammed Saddiq, director of GENeco, told Bristol Post, “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.”
The annual waste of a bus-load of people would provide enough power for a return journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats, while producing fewer emissions than a diesel engine.
Charlotte Morton, chief executive of eco-friendly organization Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association, said, “‘The bus also clearly shows that human poo and our wasted 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.”
Today’s maiden voyage saw the first passengers travel on the route from Bristol Airport to Bath, Somerset – a distance of around 20 miles (32km).
The gas is generated through the treatment of sewage and food waste that is unfit for human consumption.
Engineers believe Bio-Bus could provide a sustainable way of fuelling public transport while improving urban air quality.
The gas produces fewer emissions than traditional diesel engines and is both renewable and sustainable.
The Bio-Bus can travel up to 186 miles on a full tank of gas, which takes the annual waste of around five people to produce.