Monday, February 9, 2009

Oslo Buses are going to the Shitter.

(Thanks to Star-Oslo Lokaltrafikk)
When I think about poop, it doesn't cross my mind that my poop is contributing to global warming. But my poop along with all the poops in the world are one of the sources of methane gas, a greenhouse gas, which happens to be 20 times worse in trapping heat in the atmosphere than CO2. Oslo, Norway has found a funny but clever solution to its release of methane and CO2- poo-powered buses!

Oslo came to this decision when it saw that private and public transportation had increased CO2 emissions by 10% since 2000. And obviously, the most conventional solution to decrease this was to use poop (in actuality poop and other excrement that land in sewers) to solve this problem.

Prior to this ingenious idea, sewage plants were releasing the majority of their methane into the atmosphere. Now, instead of having it flared off, Oslo is going to trap the methane and turn it into Biomethane- a fuel that will energize around 200 of Oslo's buses. The way it works is that microorganisms break down materials found in sewers- poop, food, leaves, etc.- and then transforms our leftovers into gas. So not only does this technology make use of our leftovers and the methane that would have been released, it also decreases CO2 emissions by 44 tonnes per bus per year! Furthermore, excluding the initial start up costs, which aren't hefty because the engines of the buses only need to be slightly tweaked, Oslo will be saving .40 Euro/liter.

The U.S. needs to implement this strategy in its efforts to combat global warming. I would be more than enthused to lend my poop to the the greater good. Wouldn't you?

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