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Sewage And Fish Waste Keep Buses On The Road

Norway - The 12 buses in Trollhättan , Norway, a town of 50,000 inhabitants, run on a mixture of the residents' own sewage and wastes from a nearby fish processing factory.

At the local sewage treatment plant, the wastes are mixed in a reactor to produce a rich biogas (95 per cent methane), which is then sent through a 3km pipeline to the bus station in the town center. Here, a bus will have its tanks filled - the tanks are built in under the roof and run its full length. A full tank is enough for 300 km or a normal full day's driving.

Compared to diesel oil, biogas is a very environmentally friendly fuel, giving no net emissions of CO2, less than half the emissions of NOx and minimal emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulates.

Participants in the biogas project, which began in 1996, include the municipality of Trollhättan, the largest Swedish energy company, Vattenfall, the local energy utility, the regional bus company and the national Communications Research Committee.  Along with the buses, two rubbish collecting vehicles and a few private cars run on biogas.

The municipality is planning to expand the project by doubling biogas production and has launched a campaign to get more private car owners to convert to biogas. A public biogas filling station has been opened and several local companies have recently acquired biogas-driven cars.

The investment has cost about 3.5 million Euros, 50 per cent of which has come from national rather than local sources.

For More Information: Ann-Cathrin Erlandsson and Ronald Svensson, Trollhättan municipality, S-461 83 Trollhättan, Norway tel 00 46 520 870 00; fax 00 46 520 41 10 41

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