“There are often simple, low-tech solutions to difficult problems… Furniculars, those cable trains that were built up the sides of hills and mountains, often ran on water! The two cars were connected by cables, so you added 400 gallons of water to the one at the top, to make it heavy enough to roll down the hill while pulling up the lighter one at the bottom. In Fribourg, Switzerland, they had a much better idea. One area in town is at the top of a hill, and the other at the bottom, separated by about 375 feet of elevation. And if there is one thing that is always flowing from the top to the bottom, it is sewage. Instead of running in a pipe, they pump some of it into the car at the top; at the bottom, they open it up and let it run into the lower sewer.”
Often the most “green” solutions are simply those that don’t give up and choose an easier, but less efficient, option.
it seems this country’s newest green fuel is actually brown [i’m sorry, i couldn’t help myself!]: “In Oslo, air pollution from public and private transport has increased by approximately 10% since 2000, contributing to more than 50% of total CO2 emissions in the city. With Norway’s ambitious target of being carbon neutral by 2050 Oslo City Council began investigating alternatives to fossil fuel-powered public transport and decided on biomethane.
Biomethane is a by-product of treated sewage. Microbes break down the raw material and release the gas, which can then be used in slightly modified engines. Previously at one of the sewage plants in the city half of the gas was flared off, emitting 17,00 tonnes of CO2. From September 2009, this gas will be trapped and converted into biomethane to run 200 of the city’s public buses.”
“Sapporo Breweries…has been working on a plan to decompose waste dough at factory bakeries for hydrogen production since 2005. As of right now, the company is able to produce 25,000 liters of hydrogen from 125kg of waste food— a big enough number that Sapporo’s technology will be on the market for food-processing plants starting next year.”
if fueling my car means drinking more beer, sign me up! the real advancement will be when they bring to market consumer-sized units for homebrew fanatics.