Find by category:

Exhaust Notes

Toyota, Others Test Stinky Fuel Technology

Consortium of Japanese companies dips its toe into fuel-cell technology that extracts hydrogen from human sewage.

By Claire_Martin Sep 12, 2012 12:51PM
This week, a group of Japanese companies including Toyota, Japan Blue Energy and Mitsui Chemicals began testing a low-cost hydrogen-extraction technique that recycles human sewage. Their plan is to commercialize hydrogen production by 2015. 

The new project's basic process involves human sewage that is dried in multiple stages using heated aluminum-oxide balls. This generates methane, which is then reheated, releasing high concentrations of hydrogen gas. The technique reportedly cuts carbon emissions by 75 percent compared with traditional hydrogen production techniques, including the liquefaction of fossil fuels. It also recycles human sewage, which is typically incinerated in Japan.

The process is different from another waste-based Japanese automotive project we reported on recently -- the so-called Toilet Bike, which uses biogas created from animal excrement. The Toyota group's concept will involve higher-volume production and will be used in conjunction with existing hydrogen fuel-cell technology, the use of which is expected to increase in coming years. According to Autonews, Honda and Toyota, among other automakers, are planning to launch new fuel-cell vehicles soon.

The Toyota consortium will build a network of hydrogen plants across Japan over the next couple of years and launch a hydrogen-making business by 2015.

[Sources: Autonews, Nikkei]
Sep 18, 2012 3:19AM
Sewage and Toyota.  Now THERE'S two words that definitely belong together!
Sep 14, 2012 5:41AM
It can't be. The central planning department here in Moscow, er I mean Washington DC, has already decided for us that electric cars are the future.
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
MSN Money


Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.

Have a story idea? Tip us off at