Poo-Powered Car

The UK’s  first people-powered VW Beetle has taken to the streets of Bristol, in what has been hailed as a breakthrough in the drive to encourage sustainable power. Wonder what? Methane as a source of automotive propulsion isn’t exactly a new concept, but it’s taken manufacturers a long time to figure out how to clean it up enough to let it power an engine long-term.

Poo-Powered Car Gets a Spin around Bristol

GENeco thinks they have figured it out and has presented this Volkswagen Beetle as proof of concept. Dubbed the “Bio-Bug,” it basically runs on human excrement.
The Bio-Bug is a conventional 2 litre VW Beetle convertible, which has been modified to run on both conventional fuel and compressed methane gas.
The car is started using unleaded petrol but automatically switches to methane when the engine is “up to temperature”. If the methane tank runs out the Bio-Bug reverts to petrol.
Waste flushed down the toilets of just 70 homes inBristolis enough to power the Bio-Bug for a year, based on an annual mileage of 10,000 miles.
With support from the South West Regional Development Agency, GENeco, a Wessex Water company, imported specialist equipment to treat gas generated at Bristolsewage treatment works in Avonmouth to power the VW Beetle in a way that doesn’t affect its performance.
Countries including India and China use compressed natural gas (CNG) to power vehicles and a number of companies in the UK are now using CNG mainly to fuel buses and commercial vehicles. But using biogas from sewage sludge is yet to take off in theUKdespite a significant amount being produced everyday at sewage plants around the country.
To use biogas as vehicle fuel without affecting vehicle performance or reliability, the gas needs to be treated under a process called biogas upgrading. It involves carbon dioxide being separated from the biogas using specialist equipment.
If all the biogas produced at Avonmouth was converted to run cars, it would avoid around 19,000 tonnes of CO2. Good thought, right?

2004 Volkswagen Beetle Bio Bug

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