Thursday, 5 August 2010

GAS generated at a sewage works in Avonmouth has been used to power a car.

GAS generated at a sewage works in Avonmouth has been used to power a car. It is believed the modified Volks- wagen Beetle, called the Bio-Bug, is the first vehicle in the UK to run on biogas from sewage sludge...

Interesting development. Its always worth putting such things into context. In this story what caught my attention most was this line,

'...The company claims waste flushed down the toilets of just 70 homes in Bristol would be enough to power it for a year, based on an annual mileage of 10,000 miles...'

Assuming these figures are accurate they give us a clear idea just how many UK cars could in theory be run on methane from UK human sewage ie a very small percentage of the total that currently exists. There are other non-fossil fuel sources of methane...animal waste, food waste of course but we are still talking about small numbers of vehicles potentially - unless we can get people to produce more sewage (after all Parliament manages to produce far more than its fair share).

3 comments:

  1. It's a good idea to use as much sewage-methane as we can, though, if we can find a use for it, because it's a very bad greenhouse gas. Although burning methane produces carbon dioxide, a given mass of methane has a much greater greenhouse effect than the carbon dioxide produced by burning it; and if we don't capture the methane from sewage, it will be vented into the atmosphere.

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  2. Yes, a very good point. Burning the methane to make carbon dioxide and water cuts the climate impact by 20-30 times. Its a good development and if the company can power its 400 vehicles on methane from sewage that's great.

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  3. ...mind you they may well be diverting gas from being used to generate electricity to power the sewage plant(and feed surplus to the national grid?) AND have expended energy, time and money into purifying sewage gas to make it suitable for car use.

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Genuine, constructive, relevant comments are most welcome.