Did you know there is a bus service between Bath city centre and Bristol Airport that runs on your poo? The aptly named ‘Number 2’ service launched in November 2014 and was the first of its kind in the UK, powered by human and food waste. Following a trial free round trip of the service between Smeaton Road and the city centre over the weekend of the 24th-25th of January 2015, the service could be making its way to the First West of England central city network in Bristol.
The annual waste of five adult humans can fill one tank of fuel for the service, which is the equivalent of up to 186 miles – but thankfully, the bus does not run on raw sewage. Waste is turned into bio-methane gas generated through anaerobic digestion, where oxygen starved bacteria break down biodegradable material to produce methane-rich biogas. This all happens at Bristol sewage treatment works in Avonmouth, where enough bio-methane to power 8,300 homes is produced annually at the plant. “[There is] the possibility of bringing the bio-methane bus to Bristol,” claims GENeco, the company who runs the treatment works and that has been in talks with transport operator First West of England.
It is intended that the bio-bus will join the city wide network during Green capital year, with a demonstration service model due in the coming weeks and months. The polish on the turd? Impurities are removed from the waste fuel to produce odour free emissions, and those emissions contain 30% less CO2 than conventional diesel.
By Mark Nichols