Poo Power

If you can be sure of anything in this world, it’s that we will always have a steady supply of, ahem, human waste. Annie Kane considers whether Bristol’s Bio-Bus could be the future of sewage, or whether it’s a load of… hot air

This article was taken from Issue 81

When the scriptwriters of the cult ’80s movie Back to Future dreamed up the idea of sending a waste-fuelled car to 2015, they could hardly have predicted that the technology would actually be in existence in that year.

Although the waste-to-fuel formula is a little different (the DeLorean’s use of valuable metal cans for energy feedstock is hardly environmentally or economically sensible!), transport companies in the UK are increasingly utilising organic waste to fuel buses. Indeed, they seem to be doing it well; Reading Buses’ Bus Hound, which runs on biomethane from cow manure, broke the bus land speed record (75 miles per hour) earlier this year!

However, waste recycling and renewable energy firm GENeco, a subsidiary of Wessex Water, is taking the technology one step further, by utilising sewage waste in the UK’s first (human) ‘poo bus’.