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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Bio Bus to Revolutionise UK Transportation Harnessing The Power Of Crap

The Bath Bus Company set in motion an interesting implementation of green energy last Thursday. Bio - Bus is the name of a new bio-methane powered bus on route between Bath and Bristol Airport.

Of course, Bio-Bus is really just the most marketing-friendly name they could have chosen. The real name as per the exterior design and the many online articles and sources is "Poop Bus". 

The bio-methane which fuels the 40-seat vehicle is produced by processing human waste and food waste products and extracting the naturally formed methane to use as fuel. It's not REALLY a new revolutionary technology as bio-methane has existed for some time now, but it's a fresh new idea to implement into the United Kingdom transportation system. 

The bus can go up to 186 miles on one tank of bio-methane. The same exact quantity is produced by processing the annual waste of five average-pooping people. 

Compared to ordinary diesel engines installed on most public vehicles, methane (and subsequently bio-methane) leave a far smaller environmental footprint. Burning the natural gas leaves little to none harmful emissions after it's use, as you can see  on the graphic below.

And, as you probably realise already - shit is practically free. I mean, yes, there are production costs, but those will apply regardless of the type of fuel you choose to use. 
Other than that, people generally don't think about making a buck or two from their daily toilet sessions. 
Furthermore, they actually pay to get their crap disposed of in the form of sewage tax and pipe infrastructure maintenance costs. 
To top it off, methane is naturally released by the decomposition of organic matter. You can find high amounts of methane near swamps and even suffocate, if the saturation is high enough. 
Higher saturations of methane in the atmosphere contribute greatly to the warming of the Earth and the greenhouse effect that causes global warming, so burning it actually helps in that sense. 
Unattained organic matter is also the single most perfect habitat for the prospering of diseases, disease carriers and subsequently bio-pollution. 

*Gosh, I really didn't think I'll have so many arguments in defence of this...* 

All in all, there really are no reasons NOT to implement this technology in UK public transportation. Public travel cannot get shittier anyway... 

As for the Poop-Bus, it's fuel processing station is at Bristol Sewage Works, where GENeco - a daughter company of Wessex Water processes 75m cubic metres of sewage waste and 35,000 tonnes of food waste each year. Those are collected from households, food manufacturers, storage facilities, transportation companies and supermarkets - pretty much all sources possible. 

Parallel with releasing the Bio-Bus in public, GENeco managed to be the first UK company to connect into the national gas-grid network and pump in that same bio-methane gas into circulation. While not getting the same amount of publicity as the toilet illustrated vehicle, that feat was equally if not more important for the "green cause". 
The amount of swamp gas injected into the gas-network is enough to power 8,500 homes on it's own, which, without doubt, is a major win for green energy.

If this concept receives national support, both from the government and from the people, it just might be the next big step towards cleaning the air over Britain and making sure it stays clean. Let's not forget that the UK and London in particular, already failed to meet the air quality standards of the European Union.

Well, that's it from me - I hope you enjoyed my article and support green energy for a better future. If you feel like toilet is the place to be after this article, don't forget to check out Geoff's latest article on poop apps

If you want to know more on green energy and energy alternatives, here are a few links for you to check out: