Japan’s major automaker Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced on Tuesday that it is developing a fuel cell system for vehicles to run on bio-ethanol electric power, the first time for the fuel to be used in motor vehicles.

The company’s “e-Bio Fuel-Cell” generates electricity through the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power generator using bio-ethanol stored in the vehicle, said Nissan in a release. Hydrogen is produced from 100 percent ethanol or ethanol-blended water in the fuel tank of vehicle, then mixed with oxygen in atmosphere to produce electricity.

“Bio-ethanol fuels, including those sourced from sugarcane and corn, are widely available in countries in North and South America, and Asia,” said the Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer.

“The e-Bio Fuel-Cell, using bio-ethanol, can offer eco-friendly transportation and create opportunities in regional energy production, while supporting existing infrastructure.”
As for the carbon dioxide emitted in the course of power generation, Nissan said the emissions will be neutralized as bio-fuel, such as sugarcane, absorbs carbon dioxide in their growing process. A “Carbon-Neutral Cycle” is formed with nearly no carbon dioxide increase, said the automaker.