Sapporo Breweries Ltd., Shimadzu Corp. and Hiroshima University have successfully generated a continuous supply of hydrogen and methane gas using bread, the partners said Thursday.

The first technology of its kind, which can also be applied to other food products, will be implemented in fiscal 2006 to extract the energy stored in organic matter, they said.

In the process, a portion of bread generates hydrogen when it is fermented with a bacteria found by Hiroshima University professor Naomichi Nishio.

The remaining material produces methane gas when exposed to different bacteria.

The methane gas contains no sulfur and is 10 percent more efficient in caloric value than the same gas generated by the existing method of producing it alone through fermentation, the partners said.

Bread is added every day, and the system has continued to generate hydrogen and methane gas for more than six months.

Sapporo Breweries, a key unit of Sapporo Holdings Ltd., gave the project their fermentation technology and Shimadzu supplied gas-analyzing technology.

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