Sweden Can't Get Its Shit Together on Biogas

Richard Chen
by Richard Chen
sweden cant get its shit together on biogas

Several years back, before ethanol as a motor fuel additive became all the rage, Sweden started a program to produce biogas. They envisioned a methane-based fuel made from sewage (with the aid of some bacteria) powering cars, trucks and buses. According to ever-hopeful engineers, with the right process, the average Swede craps out enough yearly to power an average car for an average of 75 miles. Unfortunately for FordonsGas, Dong Energy and other curiously named companies, the biogas biz has encountered the usual, uh, teething problems with new technology. Not to mention a distinct lack of biogas pumps and vehicles that can run on the stuff. (Biogas buses are out there, somewhere, while Volvo stopped making biogas powered vehicles a couple of years ago.) The International Herald Tribune reports that biogas boosters remain undaunted, hopeful of the process' long-term adoption. "When you're in the bathroom in the morning and you can see something good come of that, it's easy to be taken in by the idea – it's like a utopia," quoth a consultant. If you say so…

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4 of 6 comments
  • Juniper Juniper on May 27, 2008

    A number of Dairies have built digesters for their manure. They then burn the methane and generate more than enough electricity to run the dairy. The same methane could be used to fuel a car, truck, or tractor.

  • William C Montgomery William C Montgomery on May 27, 2008

    It's a customized '71 Volvo 1800 called the eVOLVO. Stock 1800’s (built throughout the ‘60s) were great looking but had bumpers, smooth hoods and unmodified rear-ends.

  • BlueEr03 BlueEr03 on May 27, 2008

    Now if we could only find the swede who only drives 75 miles a year.

  • Voice of Sweden Voice of Sweden on May 27, 2008

    Well here you can read about one of the companies, yes in english: http://www.svenskbiogas.se/sb/english/ Many cities have busses powered by gas. Some of the gas comes from decomposing waste from "meat processing plants". Always fun to see young angry vegetarians riding a bus powered by gas from dead rotten animals.