Meet Bio-Bug – the car that runs on poo

August 9, 2010

Forget your hybrid vehicles which run on a mixture of gasoline and electric. The future could be hybrid vehicles which run on a mixture of gasoline and human waste. Move over Prius, make way for the Bio-Bug.

Despite significant improvements in green technology and significant improvements in how we as the human race view view and treat the natural world, there is still a long way to go before we stop taking more from the planet than we’re putting back into it.

One of the biggest problems we still haven’t figured out how to solve is the over-reliance on fossil fuels. In terms of transport, various different methods have been proposed and tested, all of which are designed to eventually replace gasoline (or petrol).

The current front-runner is electricity, with hybrid cars offering a middle-ground alternative to get us used to the idea. They’re not perfect, however, and they’re not really taking off in as big a way as they probably should do.

As reported by BBC News, British engineers have designed an alternative which is a gasoline-biogas hybrid. The Bio-Bug (so called because it’s a converted VW Beetle) runs on the methane gas produced from human waste. In layman’s terms it’s powered by the gas released by poo, crap, or feces depending on your term of choice.

The good news is that the gas doesn’t smell, because if it did being a pedestrian with roads full of these cars would be an absolute nightmare. The better news is that biogas can power a two-liter car up to speeds of 114mph. The even better news is that it’s cheap, efficient, and sustainable. All the while people are emptying their bowels, these cars will have fuel.

What gets flushed down the toilets of around 70 homes annually can power the Bio-Bug for 10,000 miles, which is an average year’s motoring in the U.K. In time I’m sure this could be improved upon so that every family could potentially power its own vehicle purely from its own waste. Which is surely an ecologist’s dream scenario.

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