KARIYA (Japan) ― As oil production from renewable microalgae biomass is expected to help reduce CO2 emissions in logistics and transportation, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, IHI Corporation, and DENSO Corporation today announced the establishment of the Japan Association for Microalgae Fuels (JMAF). The JMAF’s focus is to commercialize microalgae biofuel production and to facilitate joint efforts across industry, government, and academia on a national basis. The association held its inaugural meeting today, inviting 10 private companies as primary members.
The Benefits of Microalgae Biofuels
Microalgae biofuels can help diversify energy supply and increase the self-sufficiency rate of energy for Japan, which has limited energy resources. Also microalgae biofuels can be used in the same way as traditional petroleum fuels, which requires no additional investment in the fuel supply infrastructure.
Moreover, microalgae biofuels do not impact the production of conventional food crop-based biofuels. Also the residue after oil extraction can be used as forage crops, which can help increase food production.
Because microalgae biofuels have many potential advantages, the three founding companies have each been previously working with their own alliances to develop technologies for producing such fuels. However, many technical problems remained unresolved and commercial production could not be achieved due to several issues including: the processes of culture; oil extraction; fuel refining; and the development of an integrated production system.
The association will identify common challenges and share solutions in developing technologies for producing microalgae biofuels as well as recommend necessary measures, while receiving advice from academic experts and administrative organizations. JMAF will work to establish an integrated microalgae biofuel production system, targeting fiscal 2020.
Profile of the Japan Association for Microalgae Fuels (JMAF)
(1) Chairperson: Kenichiro Saitoh, General Manager, Research & Development Planning, Research & Development Division, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation
(2) Location: 6-3, Otemachi 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
(3) Establishment: May 25, 2012 (The inauguration meeting was held on July 27.)
(4) Activities: Promoting the development of technologies for microalgae biofuel production and recommending measures necessary for technology development
(5) Member companies*: JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, IHI Corporation, DENSO Corporation, Hitachi Plant Technologies, Ltd., Mitsubishi Corporation, Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd., Euglena Co. Ltd., Neo-Morgan Laboratory Incorporated, IDEA Consultants, Inc., YANMAR Co., Ltd.
* As of June 27