London, Jan 31 (Agencies): This could be the invention of the century that all of us waited for: artificial petrol that costs Rs 13 per litre could be available in as little as three years. Scientists in UK are refining the recipe for a hydrogen-based fuel that will run in existing cars and engines at a cheaper price than petrol.
 
With hydrogen at its base, rather than carbon, it will not produce any harmful emissions during combustion, making it cleaner, greener and cheaper, the Daily Mail has reported.
 
The first road tests will be conducted next year and, if all goes well, the cut-price 'petrol' could be on sale in three to five years, the report says.
 
Professor Stephen Bennington, the project's head scientist from Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, said: 'In some senses, hydrogen is the perfect fuel. It has three times more energy than petrol per unit of weight, and when it burns, it produces nothing but water.
 
'Our new hydrogen storage materials offer real potential for running cars, planes and other vehicles that currently use hydrocarbons.'
 
The fuel is likely to cost around $1.50 a gallon, or 13 a litre. Even with fuel taxes, the forecourt price is likely to be around Rs 44 a litre - less than half the current cost in the UK.