Toyota is developing cars that can be powered off cow manure converted into hydrogen.

Toyota is developing fuel cell vehicles (FCV) powered by hydrogen, what it says its the “most abundant element in the universe”.

A video released by the car manufacturer examines the process involved in harnessing hydrogen from cow manure and then running a car off it.

Scott Blanchet, the engineer presenting the video says that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, it’s in almost everything from water to trees to grass.

“That’s what makes hydrogen such an exciting fuel, but the critics have been vocal, some have even gone so far to call [cow dung]; and they’re right but not in the way they think,” Scott says.

In video Scott points to cows and says tha all of their manure has hydrogen in it, he wants to see if he can use that hydrogen to get a car to really run on cow dung.

To experiment this, Scott visits Ron, a dairy farmer with lots of manure. Scott explains that he wants to take the manure, strip the hydrogen out of it and use it to power a car.

Scott takes the manure, and brings it to a digester that breaks down the dung to some “lovely smelling raw biogas”. He then collects purified gas off the other end of the digester and takes it to a steam methane reformer.

“By using steam and heat [the reformer] can strip the hydrogen to power the vehicle,” he says.

The engineer then proceeds to fill the tank of a Toyota with hydrogen and Ron gets the chance to drive the car.

“Did you ever think we’d be sitting here driving a car on that cow manure?” Scott asks Ron.

“It seemed like a stretch,” Ron replies.

Scott says that there is a no combustion engine in the car and that the hydrogen and oxygen from the air come together in that fuel cell and it comes together to make direct current (DC) electricity to power the car. Also it doesn’t smell.

Take a look at the video: