While we haven’t found much use for human excrement, cow manure powers the fastest regular service bus yet. Called the “Bus Hound”, this British bus cracked the land speed record for a regular service bus, clocking in at 123.57km/h. Powered by compressed biomethane natural gas, the so-called biogas is derived from cow manure. This trait and the source of the natural gas lead to its Frisian cow style livery and carbon neutral operation. While there are many buses, even in my own neighborhood that runs on compressed natural gas, specifically using biomethane made from cow manure is rare.
In order to reach its top speed, the Reading Buses, the owners, had to make a number of modifications. The speed limiter normally set to about 56mph had to be removed and high-speed tires installed. it also likely involved some other minor tweaks to things like the suspension. Even with the modifications, chief engineer John Bickerton remarked that the bus “sounded like a Vulcan bomber—the aerodynamics aren’t designed for going 80mph”.
After the conclusion of the record-breaking run, the bus will have all of its tweaks removed, the speed limiter replaced and plain old regular tires installed. This is important as other buses records have used vehicles that are otherwise custom-built or heavily modified in order to set their records. This is why this speed record is not for the “fastest bus” but for the fastest regular service bus. Unfortunately, Guinness Word Records won’t be certifying this speed as they wouldn’t consider anything under 150mph. With cow poo powering the fastest bus, who knows if human poo can beat the 150mph barrier?
Ever since Bill Gates retired from his day-to-day role at Microsoft, most of his attention has been focused on his philanthropic efforts with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of those efforts is to provide safe and clean drinking water to as many people as possible. In this case he’s showing us how water can be made from excrement.
Yes, poo. In the video bellow, we get a demonstration of how human waste can magically be turned into perfectly drinkable water thanks to incredible developments in water sanitation technology. The same machine also converts waste into electricity that can be transferred back to the power grid.
“If we can develop safe, affordable ways to get rid of human waste, we can prevent many of those deaths and help more children grow up healthy,” – Bill Gates.
A bus entirely powered by human and food waste has gone into service.
The waste is converted into bio-methane gas through a process called anaerobic digestion, with gas being able to propel the ‘Bio Bus’ for up to 186 miles. The Bath Bus Company, the people behind the new bus, estimate that their new bus will ferry 10,000 people between Bristol Airport and Bath city centre.
Mohammed Saddiq, General manager of GENeco, the organisation the creates the gas, told the BBC:
“Gas-powered vehicles have an important role to play in improving air quality in UK cities but the Bio-Bus goes further than that and is actually powered by people living in the local area, including quite possibly those on the bus itself.”
Now I’m sure we’ve all travelled on some smelly buses, but let’s hope there’s never a fuel leak on this one, because I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be able to get a bus smellier than a leaking ‘poo bus’.