Case study: Bio-Bus
A step change in sustainable transport
"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."
The Bio-Bus was the first bus in the UK to be powered by gas derived from food, sewage and commercial liquid wastes. The bus travelled over 300km on a full tank of gas (stored on the roof), an amount of fuel which can be produced by the annual food and sewage waste of just five passengers. The distinctive livery on the bus depicted the source of the fuel that powered the bus.
The fuel harnesses a natural process called anaerobic digestion (AD). In anoxic environments, organic matter in waste breaks down to produce methane-rich biogas. This biological phenomenon can be harvested and optimised via anaerobic digestion to produce biomethane.
In addition to reducing global reliance on fossil fuels, the widespread use of gas-powered vehicles has the potential to significantly improve urban air quality and reduce the number of health problems associated with air pollution exposure.
The development of Bio-Bus followed the success of our initial trial vehicle, the Bio-Bug, the UK’s first VW Beetle powered by human waste.