POO POWER! GENeco, a waste treatment company in Bristol, UK set out to prove that bio-gas could be a reliable alternative transportation fuel, so they imported special equipment to help process their waste and upgraded a VW Bug to run on methane. The poo-powered Bio-Bug is being hailed as a breakthrough, because the bio-gas it runs on doesn’t affect the performance of the vehicle like previous versions of the fuel.
The new Bio-Bug only needs 70 homes worth of solid waste in order to drive 10,000 miles a year with a fuel efficiency of 5.3 miles per cubic meters of bio-gas. Modified from a conventional 2 litre VW Beetle convertible, the Bio-Bug can run on both conventional fuel and compressed methane gas. It actually needs a bigtof regular gasoline to start up, then switches to bio-gas when it is warmed up, and can switch back to gasoline if it runs out. Previous attempts to run cars off bio-gas have resulted in a degradation of performance because the fuel wasn’t clean enough, but GENeco claims that they have improved the reliability to the point where performance is not affected at all.
GENeco, which is owned by Wessex Water, has a number of facilities around the country processing solid waste. Their facility in Avonmouth has been producing bio-gas which is used to generate electricity for the national grid for many years. About 18 million cubic meters of biogas is produced yearly – and amount which could power 95,400,000 miles of driving per year for a savings of 19,000 tonnes of CO2. The UK company plans on converting its fleet of vehicles to bio-gas after a trial period with the Bio-Bug.