Methane as a source of automotive propulsion isn’t exactly a new concept, but it’s taken manufacturers a long time to figure out how to clean it up enough to let it power an engine long-term. GENeco thinks they have figured it out and has presented this Volkswagen Beetle as proof of concept. Dubbed the “Bio-Bug,” it basically runs on human excrement – seriously.
This Beetle’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine has been converted to run on methane gas produced by human excrement and can still top 183 kilometers per hour (about 114 miles per hour). We’ll try to avoid any f¨hrt jokes. Methane is essentially similar to compressed natural gas, but has some unique challenges. “Previously the gas hasn’t been clean enough to fuel motor vehicles without it affecting performance,” said Mohammed Saddiq, the head of GENeco. He added:
However, through using the latest technology our Bio-Bug drives like any conventional car and what’s more it uses sustainable fuel. If you were to drive the car you wouldn’t know it was powered by biogas as it performs just like any conventional car.
The Bio-Bug actually uses regular unleaded gas on start-up, but switches over to methane automatically once it’s running. It was built by England’s The Greenfuel Company for GENeco, a division of one of Bristol’s largest sewage treatment plant. That plant, Wessex Water, claims that it will take but 70 toilets to power the Bio-Bug for a year.