London, July 21 : A British chemical company has said that it has found a way to make fuel from household waste, and cars run on such fuel could be on the streets within two years.
According to a report in the Times, INEOS, the world's third largest chemical company, said it aimed to produce commercial quantities of bioethanol fuel from biodegradable municipal waste by 2011.
The company has said that it had patented a method of producing fuel from municipal solid waste, agricultural waste and organic commercial waste.
The company claims that it can produce about 400 litres (90 gallons) of ethanol from one tonne of dry waste.
The new process works by heating the waste to produce gases, then feeding the gases to bacteria, which produce ethanol that can be purified into a fuel.
"Our technology will make a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gases and the world's need for fossil fuels," said Peter Williams, chief executive officer of INEOS Bio, the part of the firm that makes bioethanol fuel.
Ineos plans to sell the environmental product in industrial quantities by the end of 2010.
"This is a very robust and flexible process, and we have everything we need now to take it to a commercial level," said Williams.
"This is very attractive from the perspective of the food versus fuel debate, as it takes fuel production away from corn," he added.
The development of fuel from waste could be a relief for motorists who have watched pump prices soar in the past year to an average of 133.3p per litre of diesel.
"We will aim to quickly roll out technology around the world. We plan to be producing commercial amounts of bioethanol fuel for cars from waste within about two years," said Williams.
Williams expects that at least 10 per cent of North America and Europe's petrol use to be replaced with bioethanol, adding that because it released up to 90 per cent less greenhouse gases than petrol, the company's technology "will make a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gases and the world's need for fossil fuels".