Bristol Airport City of Bristol

Bus powered on human sewerage running from Bath to Bristol Airport City of Bristol

A bus powered on human waste took to the road in the UK this week with engineers believing it could provide a sustainable way of fuelling public transport and cutting carbon emissions.

The 40-seater Bio-Bus, which runs on gas generated through the treatment of sewage and food waste that’s unfit for human consumption, helps to improve urban air quality as it produces fewer emissions than traditional diesel engines.

The bus can travel up to 300km on a full tank of gas generated at Bristol sewage treatment works – a plant run by Geneco, a subsidiary of Wessex Water.

This week Geneco became the first company in the UK to start injecting gas generated from food waste and sewage into the national gas grid network and at the same time installed a gas refuelling plant for the bus.

“Through treating sewage and food that’s unfit for human consumption we’re able to produce enough biomethane to provide a significant supply of gas to the national gas network that’s capable of powering almost 8,500 homes as well as fuelling the Bio-Bus,” said Geneco general manager Mohammed Saddiq.

“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.”

Bath Bus Company is using the Bio-Bus for its A4 service from Bath to Bristol Airport via South Bristol.

Engineering director Collin Field said: “Up to 10,000 passengers are expected to travel on the A4 service in a month, which is available not only for airport travel, but also local journeys.

“The timing of this initiative could not be more appropriate as we approach 2015 when the City of Bristol itself becomes European Green Capital.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com