Japanese biotech company euglena plans to start mass production of bio jet fuel and biodiesel made from waste oil and algae with the completion of its new Yokohama refinery plant, Nikkei Asian Review reported on 2 November.
The site can produce 125,000 litres/year of bio jet fuel and biodiesel and there are plans to increase this figure to 250,000 litres/year by 2025.
Euglena said the biodiesel produced from the new refinery would be on the market next summer but the price was being negotiated with clients because the fuel – expected to qualify for ASTM certification – was still in its testing phase.
The biotech firm has partnered up with the aviation group, ANA Holdings, with the aim of fuelling its international flights departing from Japan by 2020.
Nikkei Asian Review said euglena had invested 6bn yen (US$53M) in the development of the Yokohoma refinery, along with engine manufacturer Isuzu, engineering group Chyoda and energy trading firm Itochu Enex investing in euglena and providing their experience to build the refinery as well. US oil group Chevron also provided technology for the refinery. Japan’s leading oil company, JXTG Holdings – which owns a stakes in euglena – was also expected to provide infrastructure support.
Euglena chief executive Mitsuru Izumo Izumo said the plan was to have three more refineries built in Japan or abroad to produce 1M kilolitres of fuel by 2030.
Chikako Miyata of ANA Holdings said: "Environmental requirements surrounding the aviation industry are being increasingly strengthened", with passenger numbers on international flights increasing by 5% every year.
The international Air Transport Association has set the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050 relative to 2005 levels.