Sweden is about to become the first country in the world to introduce a passenger train operating 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 allow up to 54 passengers to be transported along the eastern coast of Sweden, between Linköping and Västervik.
Biogas is obtained when bacteria, in the absence of oxygen, cause organic matter to decompose, a process known as anaerobic digestion. Biogas being a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, it is a renewable fuel produced from the treatment of waste. Almost all organic matter can be used - the natural process is found in the digestive system, marshes, garbage dumps, septic tanks and arctic tundra, a region of the North Pole devoid of trees, located between the ice cap and the treeline, and characterized by frozen soil 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 using fuel made from a mixture of petrol and biogas or natural gas.
Source: CORDIS News, 07 / 07 / 2005 at 12h21