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Oslo Buses to Run on Sewage

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the stinking-tailpipes dept.

Power 68

Mike writes "Rather than let their sewage go to waste, the city of Oslo recently announced that it plans to cut carbon emissions by converting 80 public buses to run on biomethane generated from raw sewage. The city plans to adapt two sewage plans with the technology this September, and the new biogas buses will be quieter and will cut 44 tones of C02 per bus per year."

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68 comments

Welcome to Niggerbuntu (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734305)

Niggerbuntu is a Linux-based operating system consisting of Free and Open Source software for laptops, desktops, and servers. Niggerbuntu has a clear focus on the user and usability - it should "Just Work", even if the user has only the thinking capacities of a sponge. The OS ships with the latest Gnomrilla release as well as a selection of server and desktop software that makes for a comfortable desktop experience off a single installation CD. It also features the packaging manager apeghetto, and the challenging Linux manual pages have been reformatted into the new 'monkey' format, so for example the manual for the shutdown command can be accessed just by typing: 'monkey shut-up -h now mothafukka' instead of 'man shutdown'.

Absolutely Free of Charge

Niggerbuntu is Free Software, and available to you free of charge, as in free beer or free stuffs you can get from looting. It's also Free in the sense of giving you rights of Software Freedom. The freedom to run, copy, steal, distribute, share, change the software for any purpose, without paying licensing fees.

Free software as in free beer!

Niggerbuntu is an ancient Nigger word, meaning "humanity to monkeys". Niggerbuntu also means "I am what I am because of how apes behave". The Niggerbuntu Linux distribution brings the spirit of Niggerbuntu to the software world. The dictator Bokassa described Niggerbuntu in the following way: "A subhuman with Niggerbuntu is open and available to others (like a white bitch you're ready to fsck), affirming of others, does not feel threatened by the fact that others species are more intelligent than we are, for it has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that it belongs to the great monkey specie." We chose the name Niggerbuntu for this distribution because we think it captures perfectly the spirit of sharing and looting that is at the heart of the open source movement.

No, they run on the big bang! (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734315)

I mean, if you're going to claim that something runs on X because you put Y into it and you get Y from X, then you might as well extend it back as far as possible.

Morons.

Re:No, they run on the big bang! (4, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734781)

Let's just take it back one step. Oslo buses to run on people!

Re:No, they run on the big bang! (1)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737127)

Oslo buses to run on people!

I do suppose that's much better than running over people!

Re:No, they run on the big bang! (1)

muffen (321442) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734973)

I mean, if you're going to claim that something runs on X because you put Y into it and you get Y from X, then you might as well extend it back as far as possible. Morons.

... in this case it makes complete sense because driving behind one of them smells like shit!

Re:No, they run on the big bang! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738181)

It's as if Roland never passed away.

Cut out the middle man... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734327)

... and put the toilet right on the bus!

Re:Cut out the middle man... (1)

johnm76 (1074609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735125)

Fart'n'Go? Or rather Bring'yer-own-kind-of-rebate?

Re:Cut out the middle man... (1)

ardor (673957) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735457)

Upon entering the bus, passengers have two options: pay for a ticket, or start eating beans and provide fuel for the vehicle. Don't forget to lift the lid, sir, we don't want to make a mess, do we?

A Few Days are all we have, so count them as they (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734349)

Gives new meaning to the verse "Buses farting up the street" in James Schuyler's legendary poem, A Few Days.

LAMP-POO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734359)

Linux, MySQL, PHP, Apache and POOP

PS - I AM NO COWARD

Smelly (0, Redundant)

sneilan (1416093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734363)

So that's where all my farts go. Into the bus. And I thought it was homeless people that made buses smell!

Re:Smelly (5, Interesting)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734425)

It's fortunate that methane is odorless, [wikipedia.org] then.

It's always good to see methane captured and burned into carbon dioxide, since CH4 (methane) is a far stronger greenhouse gas than CO2. On top of that, you can do useful work with the energy—like power a bus fleet—which saves even more carbon emissions.

Re:Smelly (1)

thetsguy (1211146) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735777)

Well, Now you know what to do when the bus runs out of fuel.

Re:Smelly (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736067)

Hope you're near a dairy farm? :o

Original link (5, Informative)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734371)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/jan/27/biomethane-energy [guardian.co.uk]

For now on, every time a Slashdot editor posts a link that isn't the original source of the story, I'll be posting the original link.

Re:Original link (2, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734525)

For now on, every time a Slashdot editor posts a link that isn't the original source of the story, I'll be posting the original link.

Bless you my son.

Re:Original link (4, Funny)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734671)

For now on, every time a Slashdot editor posts a link that isn't the original source of the story, I'll be posting the original link.

Good for us that Slashdot does not have a post count. Otherwise you would initiate integer overflow in no time.

Re:Original link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736729)

And that's with 64 bit unsigned integers.

Re:Original link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26742755)

Good for us that Slashdot does not have a post count.

It used to, until the new abomination of a userpage came out.

Re:Original link (2, Insightful)

ag0ny (59629) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734677)

For now on, every time a Slashdot editor posts a link that isn't the original source of the story, I'll be posting the original link.

So are you quitting your job in order to focus on this full-time?

Thanks for your sacrifice!

Re:Original link (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735181)

Perhaps his job quit him? There's a lot of it about.

Re:Original link (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739313)

How do you know he's from Russia?

Re:Original link (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740611)

He told an old Korean, the old Korean told a robot, and you know how information wants to be free - it didn't even need a UK civil servant to leave a disk on a train, though I'm sure one did at some point.

Re:Original link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735239)

http://www.tu.no/natur/article129664.ece :P

Re:Original link (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735245)

Hmmm, "Original Link", someone will get that a username in 10, 9, 8,...

Re:Original link (1)

OriginalLink (1470085) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738303)

It was worth it!

Re:Original link (1)

AtariEric (571910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745419)

So, how's Hyrule?

Re:Original link (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735349)

I heard a sound like a thousand slashdot editors crying "fr33 st00f pl0x", and then were suddenly silenced.

Who's going to give them freebies for promoting their latest crap as news stories now ? I suppose they can all just go and live in your basement eh ?

That's the trouble with do-gooders, they never think things through ... shakes head.

I cut tones by releasing methane too. (5, Funny)

pitterpatter (1397479) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734403)

"the new biogas buses will be quieter and will cut 44 tones of C02 per bus per year."

Good! (4, Insightful)

haeger (85819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734443)

I just can't get why this isn't used more than it is. I don't understand why we need to base the whole worlds economy on a few countries in the middle east with a democratic defecit.

Ethanol isn't bad but it does use land that could be used to produce food to grow fuel instead, which seems like a bit of a waste to me. Also the environmental benefits are questionable, I still believe this is better than oil, just not by much.

But methane is something that we all produce. Humans and animals alike. And methane is a very potent greenhouse gas so setting it on fire is actually a net gain for the environment (according to some), and it can be produced locally.

So it should be used more. It has a lot of benefits and very few drawbacks. Now if we could only get cars that would run on it properly and not those petrol-converted-dont-really-want-to-run-on-biomethane-but-will-do-so-for-20km-on-a-full-tank kind of cars.

Re:Good! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734533)

Waste won't give us enough methane to replace oil, but we can make methane directly from water, sunlight and CO2 so maybe that will be done in the long term.

Re:Good! (2, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735295)

$$$$$$ is why.

It costs more money to harvest it and make it usable. Plus storage and transportation bugs have been worked out of the petroleum industry.

Re:Good! (2, Interesting)

KnightNavro (585943) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737007)

Transportation is the usual methane capture project killer. Landfills and wastewater treatment plants are typically located away from densely populated regions, for reasons apparent to anybody who's ever been downwind of one. As such, there typically isn't as well developed as it would have to be to make a project work.

There are, of course, exceptions. Puente Hills Landfill in LA can generate 50MW. A more typical landfill can generate only a fraction of that.

Landfills, plants, and refineries (4, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737981)

Yes, but oil-drilling rigs and refineries are often located even farther away, yet gas still get in from them...

Re:Good! (1)

Error27 (100234) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737511)

From the guardian article, they're projecting that biogas will be cheaper.

"What's more, aside from the intial set-up costs, we expect to see an average saving of 0.40 per litre of fuel (based on an average diesel price of 0.67 per litre compared with biomethane at 0.27 per litre)".

Of course, 200 buses is quite a small scale operation, but it's still very cool.

Re:Good! (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739851)

Yea it's pretty cool but I think the scale is where the costs come into play. Also, you have to keep in minds some things about estimates -they are often optimistic in order to justify their goals.

At one time, it was estimated that Ethanol would be cheaper then gasoline until the practical reality of it set in and they applied the same taxes to it. Currently, gasoline in the US is almost cheaper then ethanol in raw numbers compared at the pump. This means that when you take into account the differences in fuel efficiencies for most cars, ethanol of now more expensive the gasoline because it takes more to do the same work.

So they are comparing the production cost of biomethane to the actual of diesel to them. This is most likely the pump cost meaning that they might turn around and find themselves in the same troubles as the french fry grease diesel people do when government wasn't their taxes.

Storage and transportation (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737961)

Petroleum has to be harvested from the ground in viable locations and then transported (sometimes long distances) to the end-user

Methane-related gas, however, is produced pretty much everywhere, and is pretty damn local.

While it might not be solved by a "porta-pottie at the bus-stop", it's not that far-off to think that individual cities could have a waste reprocessing plant locally, cutting out a lot of the transportation costs. At that point the main cost is the plant, but hopefully one that would pay for itself.

Re:Good! (1)

eennaarbrak (1089393) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737759)

Ironically, Norway is a large exporter of oil (about 20% of GDP is oil/gas export). So while this token programme should be applauded, perhaps they could look at reducing how they help choking the rest of the world too?

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734463)

around the corner, we have a funicular powered by raw sewage (scroll down a bit [wikipedia.org] ). It's been in operation since 1899.

So no, sewage-powered public transport is nothing new, and those Norwegians would know that if they ever left the Fjord.

Word of advice to our cousins to the North: after a century of operation, it doesn't smell any better.

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735693)

So something is rotten in the state of Norway *and* the state of Switzerland?

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26744897)

For the record, the original (norwegian) article doesn't say anything about "first".
The english article linked above contains an interview where they refer to earlier projects like this.
The slashdot summary doesn't say anything about "first".

In other words: No one ever said they were first ... until you came along.

Not really new tech. (2, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734465)

Gas-driven (not gasoline) buses has been around for at least a decade. It's just that they use a different type of gas.

Re:Not really new tech. (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734545)

Gas-driven (not gasoline) buses has been around for at least a decade. It's just that they use a different type of gas.

Do you mean to say that methane driven buses haven't bee used up to now? I know for a fact they are used in Sydney and Melbourne though the CH4 comes out of the ground.

My Voluntary contribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734469)

Where can I send my voluntary contribution?.

Old school (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734639)

LinkÃping in Sweden has driven their fleet of buses on sewage biogas since 1996 or so.

This was just the obvious next step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734877)

As if the public transportation system in Oslo wasn't shitty enough!

Substitute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734929)

Could it be that Oslo can afford an expensive but green system like this because Norway has an enormous income from the export of oil and gas taken from the sea bed ?

Oh great. (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735033)

As if this city didnt stink enough.

ive a new bus design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735251)

it has a sliding toilet seat right under you so you can s##t, and help power the bus, of course you ned to bring your own toilet paper and it will have a tiny sink so you can wash up after.
HAHA

I'm not impressed... (3, Funny)

Genda (560240) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735417)

American television has been running on crap since the late 50s.

Re:I'm not impressed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736781)

so.
true.

hydrogen and electricity, baby (2, Informative)

amn108 (1231606) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735453)

Exciting times. In my opinion electrical motor is the way to go though. The problem is the potential energy around us is not available as electrical power by itself, the latter needs to be produced and also stored. Which is where photovoltaics come in - given that Earth is radiated with about 50 - 250 watts of energy per square meter of land, our sun will give us all the power for electricity we need, even with our suboptimal solar panels of today. There is also hydrogen, the most abundand stuff in the Universe, and progress is being made there as well. The problem is our economy. Which slowly has to adjust, and that takes time. It takes time before the folks that profit from oil recovery collect enough money for their pension, and leave something for their sons and daughters and finally lay off that "gold mine" which is killing us slowly, and it takes time to collect the guts to start investing in something new and divorce our economy from oil, so that it does not collapse all too fast when oil is finally left alone where it rested for millions of years. It takes time to change the public perception of transport and consumption and the culture associated with it too. Speaking of the whatever non-scientific reasons for the slow change towards cleaner future, George Monbiots book "Heat" is a good read.

And just for some food for thought, Oslo where I happen to live, has bought two THiNK cars last year, the company behind these cars had to loan money from the government to make it to 2009. What I am trying to say is the mass of people is the last element you need to convince, and only after everything else is in place, do they start to think about alternatives to their combustion engine cars. And Oslo folks are really stubborn. They will not give up their family wagons all too easily or hastily.

Re:hydrogen and electricity, baby (1)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736353)

Storing hydrogen is a pain. How about that wonder metal (metal?) discussed in another article, Boron [eagle.ca] ?

Mad Max (1)

Randy Savage (1465063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735539)

If this is possible, then why was petrol such an issue in (the rather disappointing) Beyond Thunderdome?

asdf (1)

zaunuz (624853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735651)

.......just when i thought Oslo couldn't become a shittier place to live (i'm half serious, hate that placE)

Little Oslo is a planet of it's own Re:asdf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26741917)

Please feel free to leave (or stay away) if you don't like it here.

Rough translation in italics. YouTube clip [youtube.com]

Artist: Delillos
Song: Suser avgårde

Det er grålysning og ikke en lyd i byen
Og jeg er på vei hjem, til en oppredd seng
Lille Oslo er en egen planet
Alle gatene er forskjellige land
Hvert strÃk en verdensdel
Og vi suser avgårde, alle mann

It is twilight and not a sound in town
And I'm on my way home, to a ready-made bed
Little Oslo is a planet of it's own
Every street a different country
Each hood a continent
And we're speeding about, every one

Og jeg er ganske full
Og jeg gÃ¥r midt i bygdÃy allé
Og mitt eneste mål er å komme hjem og sove
Men fÃr jeg gjÃr det
Er jeg nÃdt til Ã¥ se
At solen kommer og at et menneske står opp
Da er jeg trygg, da kan jeg sove godt hele da'n

And I am pretty drunk
And I walk in the middle of bygdÃy allé
And my only goal is to get home and sleep
But before I do that
I need to see
The sun rising and somebody waking up
Then I'll feel secure, and I'll sleep well all day long

Men kanskje blir jeg vekket av en fly alarm
Selv om det bare er en test, sÃ¥ gjÃr den meg helt kvalm
LÃper opp og skrur pÃ¥ radio'n hver gang

But perhaps I'll be awoken by an air raid siren
Even if it's just another test it makes me ill at ease
I run and turn on the radio each time

Det er grålysning og ikke en lyd i byen
Og jeg er på vei hjem til en oppredd seng
Lille Oslo er en egen planet
Alle gatene er forskjellige land
Hvert strÃk en verdensdel
Og vi suser avgårde, alle mann

It is twilight and not a sound in town
And I'm on my way home, to a ready-made bed
Little Oslo is a planet of it's own
Every street a different country
Each hood a continent
And we're speeding about, every one

Yeeeah - Yeah
Yeeeeeah - Yeah
Yeah - Yeah

Suser avgårde, alle mann

Speeding about, every one

Yeeeah - Yeeah
Yeeeah - Yeeah
Yeeeah - Yeeah

Suser avgårde, suser avgårde... alle mann

Speeding about, speeding about... every one

Nothing new (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735719)

Both the technology to use sewage for bio-methane and methane burning cars are not new.

The bio-methane production is called anaerobic digestion, check wikipedia for more info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_digestion [wikipedia.org]

Although I applaud every initiative, this is not news.

Steaming Pile of Shjt (1)

alex4point0 (179152) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736045)

Here in sunny southern Austria the entire train network in Melbourne is a steaming pile of shit - and it's high quality French shit too. Just search for 'connex' and have a look.

Smell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736747)

Well the bus shouldn't smell any different.

Interesting... (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737955)

... I wonder how much methane I could collect from my septic tank?

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26739475)

you would have to heat your septic tank to about 100F, and increase your % solids and lower your liquid content. But in the end, if it was just you and your family (assuming three other people), the amount of methane you would produce would be so insignificant, its not worth your while.

To make it begin to be worth your while, 100,000 people would need their sewage pumped into your septic tank, but only the solids (which is .1% of the total flow).

Literally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26738871)

Biomethane is the shit!

"Biomethane" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26738987)

This is nothing new. I work at a sewage treatment plant, and granted we don't use this "biomethane" just because don't use digesters to capture it.

In treatment plants that do have digesters, they capture the methane and use it to run their power generators. Look at Hyperion Treatment Plant [wikipedia.org] in LA.

In the end, I say congrats to Oslo for doing something with the sh*t that their population produces, but there is much more to this equation that they could also be doing, but that is topic for another day.

Whew! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740039)

Man, and I thought it sucked to be stuck behind a bus before! Who could have predicted that all those experiments my Norwegian friends did with lighting farts when they were younger would actually lead to a viable energy source?

Public Transportation: It's the shit! (1)

Niris (1443675) | more than 5 years ago | (#26741805)

And I thought the bus system here in Fresno was shitty.

it's C OH 2, not C ZERO 2 (1)

kayditty (641006) | more than 5 years ago | (#26742323)

I don't know anything about chemistry, but you'd think that someone seemingly interested in it (as the submitter presumably is) would know at least this. I'm also surprised that I'm the first to point this out!!1two

Feedback loop? (1)

GWBasic (900357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26759531)

The net emissions from a biomethane operated bus are zero, because the carbon originally came from the atmosphere rather than fossil fuels, but electricity is used at the sewage plant to convert the gas from the waste into fuel for the buses. Oslo city council is taking the electricity used to generate the fuel into consideration and calculate that carbon emissions per bus are 18 tonnes per year, a saving of 44 tonnes of C02 per bus per year.

Why not generate electricity from the Biogas? If it's so easy to modify a diesel engine to use the gas, couldn't they just use an ordinary diesel generator?

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