The first ‘Bio-Bus’ has just been introduced onto the streets of Bristol, a British city of less than half a million people. Powered by biomethane gas, the eco-friendly public bus uses waste from more than thirty thousand households in the South-West of England. The so-called ‘poo bus’ was originally unveiled last year, as part of Bristol’s successful bid to win the title of European Green Capital 2015. They now join just a handful of European cities famous for the environmentally-friendly credentials.
Biomethane gas is produced from sewage sludge and inedible food waste, and is almost indistinguishable from other fossil fuels. It has been successfully used to replace natural gas both as transport fuel and as a supply for domestic uses. Thus, it has been hailed by environmentalists as a shining example of sustainability.
On just one tank of gas, the bus can travel up to 300 kilometers. The gas, which is generated at Bristol sewage treatment works, produces fewer emissions than traditional diesel engines and is both renewable and sustainable.
The Bio-Bus is currently being operated by local bus company First Group. The firm’s Managing Director, James Freeman, told The Guardian, “Since its original unveiling last year, the Bio-Bus has generated worldwide attention and so it’s our great privilege to bring it to the city.”
The Bio-Bus runs along the aptly-named “Number Two” bus route. As Freeman further explains, “The Bio-Bus previously made an appearance running between Bath and Bristol airport at the end of , but it’s only actually been used once before in the centre of Bristol itself. The very fact that it’s running in the city should help to open up a serious debate about how buses are best fueled, and what is good for the environment.”
Are any of the buses in your community run on biomethane gas? Would you ride the poo bus? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments area below.
Credits: Images by Ajit Niranjan. Data linked to sources.