Portuguese designer Alan Monteiro has illustrated his vision of green transportation: an aerodynamic carbon swallowing, wastewater recycling, oxygen releasing, unmanned shuttle bus concept called SKhy. While the actual build of this breathing bus may be a long way off, its ambitiously layered clean tech design is good fodder for green dreams.
SKhy’s ultra-lightweight aluminum chassis and aerodynamic design mean that the vehicle wouldn’t require much energy to reach and maintain a comfortable speed. Whatever power SKhy does need would be generated by wastewater-to-hydrogen technology and combusted in its highly energy efficient hydrogen fuel cell engine. Instead of carbon dioxide and particulate emissions, residual clean water “waste” would be expelled and subsequently re-purposed.
Large air intakes lining the front end of the shuttle capture and filter the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, diverting the CO2 to run the internal cooling system and discharging extra oxygen molecules back into the environment. Add the fact that sunlight and solar cells work harmoniously to generate electricity for inside digital displays, passenger reading lights and other mechanisms, and what you have is carbon-reducing “living” eco-transportation.
The name, which stands for “Solar and Kinetic energy to produce Hydrogen” is descriptive of both its function and the air of limitless possibility it inspires. To emphasize its futuristic qualities, Monteiro decided the urea-fueled shuttle bus shouldn’t rely on a driver’s attention or skill — SKhy is capable of transporting up to 128 passengers with the aid of GPS and sensors.
The first step to seeing a sustainable sensation like this on the road is the further development and scaling of wastewater fuel technology. With most of the transportation world’s attention directed towards electric vehicles and Obama yanking cleaner air standards, it’s unlikely this radical concept will be humming alongside and cleaning up after gas guzzlers any time soon. But hey, the future is uncertain and it’s good to dream.
+ Alan Monteiro