Cow manure and speed record aren't two terms commonly connected unless you are a bus company in England that wants to show that your poop-powered bus is going places, fast.
The Bus Hound, which operates on methane fuel derived from cow manure, took to the track last week, reaching a speed of almost 77 mph. (Please tell us that someone is developing a poop-powered bus racing league!) The company that owns the bus claims that's a land speed record for buses. We don't believe that claim one bit, but let's not allow that to distract us from the truly important point: A bus powered by cow poop can go 77 mph!
This bus is not the only one of its kind operating in England. According to Bus and Coach Buyer, Reading Buses actually has a fleet of more than 30 buses that service the city of Reading while burning biomethane fuel. We can only assume that the Bus Hound, which is painted a splotchy black and white to resemble a cow, has a special super pooper gear.
To make the biomethane fuel, cow manure is exposed to microorganisms in an oxygen-free environment. The gas produced is collected, then converted into a liquid form, known as biogas.
An EPA study from a couple of years ago found that a vehicle can travel a little more than 60 miles on $10 worth of biogas. At the time, when gas was about $1 more expensive than it is now, the study calculated that $10 worth of gasoline would get the same vehicle a little more than 70 miles. Cars powered by natural gas, incidentally, could go nearly 200 miles on $10 worth of fuel.
But, hey, poop power hasn't been around for all that long only about 10 years in commercial use. As technology improves, we're hoping to make some great strides in poop (hopefully not literally).
If it's good for the environment, it's worth some research.
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