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Last Updated: Tuesday August 05 2008 14:55 GMT

Rubbish new way to power cars

Laura and a car and piles of rubbish

Cars are expensive to run and bad for the environment, but some scientists think they can change all that by using RUBBISH to power them.

They've found a way to turn some of the stuff we throw away into something called bio-ethanol, which can be mixed in with petrol and used in cars.

The scientists say it's a more environmentally friendly way of getting about, and helps get rid of rubbish.

They think a million tonnes of rubbish could run more than a million cars.

Piles of rubbish
Scientists say this can power cars!
For the last 15 years they've been experimenting with turning bio-degradable rubbish - like paper and vegetable waste - into fuel.
They've found a way of doing it by heating it up to a really high temperature.

The gases that are released are mixed in with bacteria, or bugs, which turn the rubbish into bio-ethanol.

In countries like Brazil, lots of cars already run on bio-ethanol, but that's made using plants grown in fields.

John McNally
John McNally says using rubbish is a good idea for lots of reasons
John McNally, from a company called Ineos which is making the fuel, said using rubbish is a better idea, because then the crops can be kept for food.

He said the bio-ethanol gives off 90% less greenhouse gasses than petrol, and helps get rid of waste.

Climate change special section




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