The 40-seater Bio-Bus can travel up to 300km on a full tank of gas generated through the treatment of sewage and food waste -both renewable and sustainable- and produced at Bristol sewage treatment works – a plant run by GENeco, a subsidiary of Wessex Water. “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,” said GENeco general manager Mohammed Saddiq.
Last week GENeco also became the first company in the UK to start injecting this gas generated from food waste and sewage into the national gas grid network and at the same time installed a gas refueling plant for the bus. “Through treating sewage and food that is unfit for human consumption we’re able to produce enough biomethane to provide a significant supply of gas to the national network that’s capable of powering almost 8,500 homes as well as fueling the Bio-Bus,” added Saddiq.
On November 20, the first passengers to get on board the Scania-branded Bio-Bus were visitors to the UK who were commuting from Bristol Airport to the historic city of Bath. Bath Bus Company, which is operating the service, said the bus was greener for the environment and added that it was extremely pleased to be using the Bio-Bus for its rapidly growing A4 service from Bath to Bristol Airport via South Bristol.
Collin Field, engineering director, at Bath Bus Company, said: “The timing of this initiative could not be more appropriate as we approach 2015 when the City of Bristol itself becomes European Green Capital. With so much attention being directed towards improving air quality generally, the public reaction to the appearance of this bus on a service between a World Heritage City and an airport will further focus on the potential for this particular fuel.”