23 May, 2017 16:35

Queensland Urban Utilities has unveiled Australia’s first poo-powered car.

The Poo Car runs on electricity generated from sewage at our Oxley Creek Sewage Treatment Plant in Brisbane’s west.   

Queensland Urban Utilities spokesperson, Michelle Cull, said they were excited to be pioneers in poo power.

“If you live in Brisbane’s south or west, every time you flush the loo, or use your shower and sink, you’ll be helping to power our Poo Car,” she said.

“We’re converting the waste from 300,000 people into electricity, to run both this electric car and our sewage treatment plant.

“By harnessing the power of poo, we’re not only reducing our operating costs but helping the environment by using a cleaner, greener energy source.”

The electricity used to charge the car - a Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (i-MiEV) - is produced by a cogeneration unit at the treatment plant.

Cogeneration involves capturing the biogas produced from sewage sludge, then using it to drive an engine which creates electricity.

The car plugs into a 240 volt power point, charges overnight and has a range of up to 150km.

“It would cost around $1900 a year to fuel a similar sized petrol-powered car,” Ms Cull said.

“We’re also reducing our greenhouse gas emissions because we’re using a renewable energy source. 

“This is just the first step. In the future, we’re hoping our entire fleet may one day be powered by poo.”   

Queensland Urban Utilities operates three cogeneration units at its biggest sewage treatment plants at Oxley Creek and Luggage Point.

The state-of-the-art technology produces up to 50 per cent of the plants’ electricity needs, delivering savings of up to $2.5 million a year.

“This is a great example of how modern sewage treatment plants are becoming more like resource recovery centres where we’re turning waste into something useful like energy,” Ms Cull said. 

The Poo Car will be on display at the Queensland Urban Utilities stand in the Water Zone at the Green Heart Fair on Sunday, June 4 at 7th Brigade Park, Chermside from 9am to 2pm.

“We’re expecting the Poo Car to turn a few heads when it’s on the road,” Ms Cull said.

“If you see us, give us a wave. Your latest flush may be keeping our motor running!”

About Urban Utilities
Established on July 1, 2010, Urban Utilities is one of the largest water distributor-retailers in Australia, providing water and sewerage services to more than 1.5 million residents in South East Queensland. Our 14,384km2 geographic area is made up of the five local government areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Somerset.