Exploiting a waste product to harvest the universes most abundant element hydrogen is the plan. Toyota will extract the hydrogen out of the manure using large digesters; essentially lagoons where the dung is broken down by bacteria releasing methane gas. The methane is collected and hydrogen extracted in a steam methane reformer using steam and heat and converted into a gas that will power a car.
Good news for consumers is that although technically the engine is powered by cow dung, there is no smell. The engine itself is a non combustion engine, hydrogen and oxygen from the air mix in a fuel cell and create DC electricity that powers the car. The only emission from this process is water.
This fuel cell technology is not good news for the petrol conglomerates who refuse to back a technology that will essentially put them out of business. Opponents of hydrogen technology claim that hydrogen is extremely flammable (like petrol) and that it can asphyxiate people (like current car emissions).
Hydrogen fuel cells are quick to refuel and cars can travel around 300 miles before needing to refuel, comparable with petrol cars. With states starting to approve funding to build hydrogen fueling stations and consumers demanding greener options, Toyota’s dung fueled cars could just put petrol on the dung heap.