A group of British engineers has created a car powered by methane gas. Dubbed “Bio-Bug”, this green vehicle runs reliably on biogas, which is produced from human waste at sewage works across the country.
The team modified a 2 litre VW Beetle convertible to run on both compressed methane gas and conventional fuel. It can also travel 10,000 miles by the power produced from sewage collected from just 70 homes.
According to the team, Bio-Bug is Britain’s first vehicle to run on methane gas without its performance being reduced. Normally, the car uses unleaded petrol but when the engine becomes “hot”, it automatically switches to methane. If the methane tank empties, the vehicle reverts back to petrol.
This poo-powered car is capable to reach a top speed of 114mph, running 5.3 miles on a cubic meter of biogas, which means that just one sewage works could save 19,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The gas is produced through anaerobic digestion, where bugs starved of oxygen break down biodegradable material to generate methane. ‘Biomethane cars could be just as important as electric cars, and the water regulator Ofwat should promote the generation of as much biogas as possible through sewage works in the fight against climate change,’ said Lord Rupert Redesdale, chairman of The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association.