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Japanese Firms to Test Cultivation of Euglena for Fuel Use

2019/06/22 22:58
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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Euglena (microalgae) (source: Euglena)

Euglena Co Ltd announced June 19, 2019, that it has concluded a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Itochu Corp for an overseas verification project of cultivating euglena (microalgae for biofuel and feed) by using exhaust gas and exhaust heat emitted from a thermal power plant.

With the conclusion of the MoU, Euglena will conduct the verification test of the isolation/collection and breeding/cultivation of local euglena strains, and Itochu will engage in the research of candidate sites, negotiation, material procurement assistance and research on the sales potential of products in the aim of helping advance to overseas and commercialization.

Euglena absorbs carbon dioxide and emits oxygen through photosynthesis, and it stores carbon and multiplies. For the verification test, a cultivation facility will be installed adjacent to a thermal power plant at an overseas site that is suited for the cultivation of euglena, and the cultivation of euglena will be tested by using carbon dioxide and exhaust heat emitted from the power plant.

By starting from cultivation with a pilot scale and expanding the scale in stages in accordance with the results of the verification, Euglena will conduct a feasibility study, develop technologies for commercializing the production of euglena for biofuel and feed and test them.

The company selected Indonesia as the first test site from the viewpoint of production cost and cultivation environment while continuing to consider other candidate countries.