With the news of a new hydrogen fuel station in the UK (see story) and a new European hydrogen road tour (see story), seems we are already having a hydrogen-filled morning. But the day is getting even better with the news of a new research project which intends to produce hydrogen fuel from a non-fossil source-sewage.
Hydrogen production remains one of the major key obstacles to the widespread adoption of hydrogen vehicles. At the moment, hydrogen is often steamed from natural gas-not exactly a very clean method of production. But a new project in Japan run through a collaboration between Toyota with Japan Blue Energy and Mitsui Chemicals, will explore the possibility of using sewage to generate bio-hydrogen.
As an abundant waste product, sewage would be a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way of producing hydrogen. It’s thought that it could reduce carbon emissions by as much as 75 per cent compared to traditional production methods.
Through the Hydrogen Innovation Town (HIT) research collaboration, the firms will assess a method of production that involves extracting methane from the waste, then heating it to exact a high concentration of hydrogen gas.
Eventually, it is hoped that the project could lead to a clean supply of hydrogen, for use in fuel cell vehicles, being collected from sewage treatment plants across Japan.
This would allow hydrogen-powered cars to become a much cleaner alternative even when taking into account emissions at a production level.
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
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