Thursday, 4 November 2010

Poo power

As part of the State Government's $2b investment in public transport, the railway lines are to be electrified. From what I understand, tenders have already been invited to build the new electric trains. My own view is that the benefits of electrification are limited. Trains will be newer and shinier and they will require less maintenance. Local pollution will also be reduced although that electricity has to be produced somewhere and it will inevitably be made from burning fossil fuels.

Electrification of itself is not going to increase passenger numbers. Increasing train frequencies and enlarging station catchment areas with bikeways and feeder buses might. That is a different topic though.

Modern diesel trains like this or this would do the job just as well but without the big investment in overhead wires.

I read an article some time ago about a Swedish train that runs on the left overs after animals have gone through abattoirs. It is turned into a biogas. There is more information here and here.

This video shows a bus in Oslo that runs partly on human leftovers - not human remains but poo:

A million of us would produce a decent quantity. I don't know anyone that uses it as fertilizer on their vegetable patch so this seems like a pretty clever use to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment