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Wasteman Vehicle

25 August 2010 One Comment

The prospect of a human-waste powered car is enough to raise the eyebrows and bait the imagination.


I for one picture a fat man cruising along, sat in a large bucket seat or better, a real porcelain toilet. He will eat so much junk during the course of his infinite journey that his car will literally power itself, the only stop he’ll ever have to make being at Mcdonalds for his latest junk of bulbous methane trouble.

toilet power


The Telegraph however stoops to offer us its version of the truth of the matter, only temporarily managing to reign in its standard contempt for all thing new or environmentally friendly, though the tone is only gently mocking early on in the piece:

‘To eco-warriors [there] is a product that is more exciting than a plateful of organic, Fairtrade mung beans: methane gas, of such high quality it can be used to fuel a motor car.’

The brains at GenEco, a part of Wessex Water, have built a VW Beetle which runs solely on methane produced and cleaned up by themselves. The Telegraph reporter  was impressed by the performance of the car, putting it through its paces on that key stretch of Middle England – the dual carriageway.

But ultimately the Torygraph reporter has an editorial line to hold, and he turns to this in his concluding remarks.

‘The Avonmouth plant produces – from the flushes of 1.1 million households – enough energy to fuel a mere 5,694 cars driving 10,000 miles a year.

‘This suggests that even if we commandeered the contents of every sceptic tank and soil pipe in the country we could only power 148,000 cars – less than 1 per cent of the 31 million on the road.’

The use of the word mere – I don’t think 5’694 cars is in any way mere – reveals an utter lack of regard for any progressive development. With too many and too many polluting cars on the road some sort of change is necessary.

The article also shows and utter lack of understanding of the need for diversity amongst new technologies if any real environmental change is to be affected. We will need electricity, hydrogen, hybrid and even human hot air if we are going to radicalise the process of driving and polluting in the UK.