Revolutionising the Transportation and Energy landscape



In 2010, GENeco, Wessex Water’s renewable energy and waste treatment company, introduced the Bio-Bug, the UK’s first ever Volkswagen Beetle powered by biogas derived from sewage sludge, which marked a monumental breakthrough in the advancement of clean and sustainable power for the transportation industry. Building on this concept, GENeco launched the Bio-Bus in 2014, the UK’s first biogas-operated bus. After running a successful trial route between Bath and Bristol Airport, the Bio-Bus is now used in regular service by First West of England on their number 2 route from northwest Bristol to the city centre and has been well embraced by the community and sustainability proponents globally.


The 40-seater Bio-Bus can travel up to 300 kilometres (km) on a full tank of biogas produced from the total annual waste of approximately five people, which is generated at the Bristol sewage treatment plant run by GENeco. The Bio-Bus shuttles passengers between Bristol Airport and Bath city centre along service route 2, where it is estimated that over the course of each month, each household is expected to contribute enough waste to fuel the bus for 10.5 km. The route of Service 2 is around 24 km in each direction, meaning it would take each household around two months to produce enough waste to fuel an end-to-end journey on it. Collectively the 32,674 households along the route could produce enough waste over the course of a year to run the bus for 4.1 million km!


Part of the positive reception from the local community by this initiative was due to the design outlook of the Bio-Bus, which features several people sitting on toilet bowls to clearly illustrate the source of the fuel that powers the bus. This inevitably resonates an impactful message on how a more sustainable lifestyle is more achievable than we often think. Engineers believe this sustainable way of fuelling public transport could cut emissions (97% of dangerous particulates and 80-90% of nitrogen oxides) in polluted towns and cities, improve urban air quality, reduce waste landfill, and be significantly cheaper to run vis-à-vis traditional diesel engines.

GENeco was the first UK company to start feeding biogas generated from food waste and sewage into the national gas grid network capable of powering almost 8,500 homes. They have also installed a gas refuelling station for the Bio-Bus.

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