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Isuzu to Run Japan First Micro algae Fuel Bus
[29th Jul, 2014]

Isuzu Motors Ltd is launching Japan’s first bus service that uses microalgae-based biofuel as part of research toward making such bio-diesel available for widespread use.

The Japanese auto maker said Wednesday it will start joint research with Tokyo-based bio venture firm euglena Co. to develop what they call “deusel.” This bio-diesel fuel is made from a single-celled organism called euglena that the researchers say could help solve global warming.

As euglena can photosynthesize, it efficiently captures carbon dioxide and converts it to energy, while producing oxygen.

Unlike other biofuels such as those from rape seeds and corn, euglena can be grown in a factory, making deusel more practical to mass produce, an Isuzu spokesman said.

Starting from July 1, the Japanese auto maker will test the fuel on a shuttle bus service between the company’s truck plant in Fujisawa and Shonandai station about two kilometers away in Kanagawa prefecture, next to Tokyo.

The service is intended for company employees and guests, but will also be open to local residents, the spokesman said.

The shuttle bus is scheduled to make 22 round-trips a day using diesel fuel that is 1% extracted from euglena.

Euglena Co. plans to establish the basic technology and production facilities to make the fuel in large quantities by 2018, using driving performance data from Isuzu. Euglena Co. eventually aims to introduce 100%-pure euglena diesel oil at at a price similar to currently existing biofuels.

Euglena Co. was set up in the University of Tokyo’s agriculture faculty, and is currently the only mass-producer of euglena for commercial use.


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