The Japan Times reports that four firms have agreed on a low-cost hydrogen production from sewage sludge that could be used to supply fuel cell vehicles by 2015.

Japan Blue Energy Co. and its three partner firms, Daiwa Lease Co., Toyota Tsusho Corp. and Mitsui Chemicals Inc. announced Monday that they have launched a verification test at a pilot plant in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture. Hydrogen production typically goes through a costly process involving liquefied natural gas and other fossil fuels. According to The Nikkei, using sewage sludge is much more cost-efficient and releases 75% less carbon dioxide. Hydrogen can be removed from sewage sludge using heated aluminum oxide balls.

The group plans to build plants across the country making market production of hydrogen possible by 2015.