A filling station in Friisilä – one of 20 offering an alternative in southern Finland.

Stool-fueled transport is a thing of the present.

MUCH like the classic film Back to the Future, wherein the DeLorean is fueled by banana peels and trash at one stage, currently hundreds of Finnish motorists are finding their “1.21 jigawatts” from human excrement as the source of their propelling force.

“Luckily we do not need to get our hands dirty in the fuel process as the raw material is sent to the fuel production site from the comfort of our own toilets,” explains Erkki Rautio, who’s website biokaasuauto.fi offers all manner of info on the power of poop to drive your car.

Handling the sludge is the Suomenoja wastewater treatment plant in Espoo. After anaerobic treatment plus purification produces fuel equal to natural gas, the (ahem) end product biomethane gas (biogas) can be bought from about 20 filling stations in southern Finland.

“Biomethane is the cleanest possible fuel with very low emissions,” Rautio enthuses. “As it is 100 per cent renewable, it does not add any new carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.”

With 96 cents of biogas containing the same amount of energy as a litre of gasoline, one can save both the environment and some cash in the process.

“Any diesel or gasoline driven car can be converted to run on methane gas and a number of factory made models are also available,” Rautio states.

Find out for yourself:

James O’Sullivan