Friday, June 7, 2013

No. 82: Developing raw materials for biofuel (June 7, 2013)

Kobelco Eco-Solutions discovered a new species of euglena that has two times more fat inside than euglena gracilis z stock, which is the currently most promising euglena, and successfully cultured it in collaboration with the University of Tsukuba. The company confirmed that the new euglena proliferates fast if it is cultured by effluent containing organic substances and purifies water. It is supposed to have the same degree of combustibility as coal. The company wishes to put a system from the culture of the new euglena to the refinement of biofuel toward 2018.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries established a technology to produce bioethanol from rice straws at a low cost. The new technology processes rice straws only by hot water. Because it does not use sulfuric acid, it can reduce capital investment. The new technology makes it possible to produce bioethanol at 40 yen per liter. The company has been conducting the substantiative experiment for the past five years.    

   Producing bioethanol from rice

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