London: The UK’s first bus powered entirely by human and food waste has gone into service between Bristol and Bath.
Engineers believe the bus could provide a sustainable way of fuelling public transport – cutting emissions in polluted towns and cities.
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.
Running on waste products that are both renewable and sustainable, the bus can travel up to 300km on a full tank of gas generated at Bristol sewage treatment works – a plant run by the company GENeco.
GENeco claim to be 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 installing a gas refuelling plant for the bus.
“Through treating sewage and food that is 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,” GENeco general manager Mohammed Saddiq said.
“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.
“Using biomethane in this way not only provides a sustainable fuel, but also reduces our reliance on traditional fossil fuels,” said Saddiq.
The Bio-Bus can travel up to 300km on a full tank of gas, which takes the annual waste of around five people to produce.
The first passengers to get on board the Bio-Bus were visitors to the UK who were commuting from Bristol Airport to the city of Bath.
Bath Bus Company, which is operating the service, said the bus was greener for the environment.