Surprising Ways To Fuel Cars With Poop
Cows Produce Methane
We hear about greenhouse gases all the time, and most of the time, the topic centers around transportation. That makes sense, sort of – according to the EPA, transportation is the second-largest producer of greenhouse gases in the United States, behind the production of electricity.
One oft-overlooked contributor to greenhouse gases, though, are cattle farms. Agriculture accounts for nine percent of greenhouse gas production in the U.S., and the vast majority of that is part of the natural digestion from livestock.
Did you know, though, that this methane gas can be harnessed and used in a variety of useful ways? Scroll through this gallery to see innovative ways methane gas can be used for transportation.
Toyota: Fueled by Bullsh*t
Fueled by Bullsh*t
Toyota Taps Morgan Spurlock to Direct First Video in "Fueled by Everything" Series
TORRANCE, Calif. (April 22, 2015) – Sometimes reality stinks. Toyota has tapped award-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock to show how calling hydrogen fuel cell vehicles "bullsh*t" isn't far from the truth.
"Fueled by Bullsh*t" is the first online video in a multi-part "Fueled by Everything" series aimed to educate a broad audience about the innovative ways hydrogen fuel can be made from renewable sources. Spurlock directed the 3-minute piece which features a dairy farmer and mechanical engineer as they follow cow manure from a mooing supply source to its ultimate use in powering the hydrogen fuel cell electric Toyota Mirai.
"This project gave us the opportunity to dive into a world that most people don't understand but has the potential to change our world," said Spurlock. "Witnessing manure, something most of us view as being pretty disposable, being transformed into hydrogen fuel to power a car was pretty remarkable. I think this short film is pretty compelling evidence of what could be possible in the years ahead."
Beyond high quality dung, hydrogen can be manufactured from other renewable energy sources like solar, wind and biogas from landfills. These production methods can result in a domestic and locally sourced fuel that powers the Mirai while emitting only water vapor from the tailpipe.
The multi-series video campaign is launching through the Toyota Mirai website (www.toyota.com/mirai) and additional digital properties with paid online media support. The Toyota Mirai site will also feature a deeper dive into the scientific process of creating hydrogen fuel, with explanations from scientists and experts in the field. This content will also appear across Toyota social and media partner sites, including Forbes.com, YouTube and Hulu.
"We're putting hydrogen in the spotlight for its exciting potential as a renewable fuel source," said Bob Carter, senior vice president, automotive operations, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "This is the beginning of the road for hydrogen, but we see the potential and we're making a long-term investment in the future."
The four-door, mid-sized Toyota Mirai delivers performance similar to traditional internal combustion engines – re-fueling in about five minutes and a range of up to 300 miles on a full tank. The Mirai will go on sale in California later this year.
Toyota's "Fueled by Everything" campaign was created with creative agency partner Droga5. To see the video and information about Toyota's commitment to fuel cell technology, visit www.toyota.com/mirai/fueledbyeverything.html.
Poo-Powered Bus Sets Speed Record
On May 19, 2015, the bus you see here became the fastest such machine in the world. Perhaps just as interestingly, though, the top speed of 76.785 miles per hour was set while the bus was running on compressed natural gas sourced from livestock.
Click here to see the bus in action.
The Bio-Bug Runs On Human Waste
Translogic has driven a lot of interesting vehicles over the past two years. Our sister site filmed some of the first seat time in a Chevrolet Volt, drove Local Motors' Rally Fighter, got behind the wheel of an electric DeLorean, turned in the first test drive of the Lightning GT supercar, tried out the YikeBike, and even found a wacky wood-powered car called the "Beaver." You'd think there wouldn't be anything more outrageous for those guys to find seat time in. Yet they've managed to find yet another crazy transportation project with an alternative power source to top them all: human waste.
While we've written about Geneco's Bio Bug before, this episode of Translogic features an actual road test, filmed onsite at the Wessex Water waste treatment plant in England. The plant produces biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide gas that's used to power this Volkswagen New Beetle. The conversion sounds pretty straightforward, and is similar to adapting a gasoline engine to run on propane.
Click here to watch the full episode.
Poop-Powered Trike From JapanGrab a newspaper and hold on to your butts! That's right, Japan's number one toilet maker, Toto, created a tricycle that runs entirely on... number two.
In theory, as long as the driver, well, um, defecates now and again so the system can convert the waste to biogas, Toto's toilet trike could run forever. Dubbed the Toilet Bike Neo Project, the campaign is part of Toto's Green Challenge of achieving a 50-percent reduction in CO2 emissions in bathrooms by 2017. That's a stench-reducing goal that will require some innovative thinking, like, for example, making a poop-powered trike – one that also plays music and talks, or course.
A few years ago, the much-talked-about tricycle hit the streets of Japan on a month-long journey from Kyushu to Tokyo, with no potty breaks along the way. The idea was to show off Toto's innovative green initiatives by blasting across Japan in the future of poopy motoring.