Sweden is set to become the first country in the world to introduce a passenger train running exclusively on biogas.
Developed by Svensk Biogas at a cost of ten million crowns (1,08 million euros), the train is expected to enter service in September; it will then be able to transport up to 54 passengers along the eastern coast of Sweden, between Linköping and Västervik.
Biogas is produced when bacteria, in the absence of oxygen, cause organic matter to break down, a process known as anaerobic digestion. Since biogas is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, it is a renewable fuel produced from the treatment of waste. Almost any organic material can be used - the naturally occurring process is found in the digestive tract, marshes, garbage dumps, septic tanks and arctic tundra, a region of the North Pole devoid of trees, located between the ice cap and treeline, and characterized by frozen ground and low vegetation.
The train, which can travel about 600 kilometers with a full tank of fuel, has a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour.
Sweden already has 779 biogas buses and more than 4.500 cars running on a fuel made from a mixture of gasoline and biogas or natural gas.
Source: CORDIS News, 07 / 07 / 2005 at 12h21