Biofuel Made with Euglena
Euglena, a company engaged in biofuel research and development using single-celled microscopic algae known by the scientific name of Euglena, has successfully powered an ordinary vehicle using Euglena based biofuel. Oil produced from euglena accounts for approximately 5% of the biofuel.
"We're advancing with research and development with the ultimate goal of increasing the Euglena biofuel ratio to 50%. We hope to be able to provide people with a new, safe to use biofuel that contains fifty percent imported oil and fifty percent domestically produced Euglena biofuel."
Euglena plans to conduct R&D for biofuel for jet planes until fiscal 2018 in an effort to seek feasibility for commercialization.
"Right now we're using a 5% Euglena biofuel, but it's extremely expensive compared to gasoline prices today. The reason for the high cost is that the Euglena that we're producing on Ishigaki Island is only being produced in small volumes. However, if we can use larger pools in the future to cultivate the Euglena in larger volumes, we should be able to lower the price of the biofuel to a level that is very close to that of today's oil prices. Right now the biofuel is very expensive, but by 2018 we hope to lower that price to a competitive level."
Euglena is an environmentally friendly resource, and because it is produced in pools, it does not require the use of agricultural land. The company hopes to create giant pools on abandoned farm land, in desert areas, and on other land that cannot be used for crop production and intends to lower costs through high volume production.
"When oil is extracted and biofuel is produced, what is left is normally strained residue that cannot be consumed. However, the strained residue from Euglena can all be used in feed that is consumed primarily by livestock, fish, cows, pigs, and birds rather than as food for human consumption. We've already started tests to determine whether or not this animal feed is safe, and we believe that in the near future we'll be able to use Euglena to realize a new type of domestically produced animal feed at the same time that we realize the new biofuel. As a result, we'll be able to simultaneously produce biofuel and animal feed without any waste."
Euglena also plans to begin full-scale production overseas sometime after 2018.