The fact that hydrogen fuel cells are powered by gas coming from fossil fuel made Japanese scientists invent other alternative sources of hydrogen like dough and sewage.
The idea to use the sewage as source of hydrogen comes from Kajima, a company whose interests vary from real estate to disaster management. Kajima worked with Tokyo University to discover that microbes can create hydrogen from human waste and other sources like run-off water from rice fields.
The prototype fuel cell has generated by now up to 130W for each cubic meter of waste. We could see real commercial solutions by 2020.
Much closer to use a fuel cell powered by alternative hydrogen sources is Sapporo Breweries, who found microbes that decompose waste dough to be more efficient in generating hydrogen.
The beer giant says it should be ready to begin sells of such fuel cells to all manner of food-processing plants some time next year. Domestic cells that use household waste could be next.
This could be the start in production of new types of cheaper fuel cell all around the world.