From: Kobe University
Published April 19, 2017 11:19 AM

Making oil from algae — towards more efficient biofuels

The mechanism behind oil synthesis within microalgae cells has been revealed by a Japanese research team. This discovery could contribute to the development of biofuels. The findings were published on April 4 in Scientific Reports.

The research was carried out by a group led by Professor HASUNUMA Tomohisa and Academic Researcher KATO Yuichi, both from the Kobe University Graduate School of Science, Technology and Innovation.

During the 20th century the petrochemical industry developed rapidly, leading to depletion of fossil resources and climate change on a global scale. In order to solve these issues and realize a sustainable and environmentally-conscious society, we must make use of renewable biomass such as plants and algae.

The amount of biomass on Earth is approximately 10 times the amount of energy we currently consume. Roughly half of this biomass grows in aquatic environments, and ocean-based biomass such as microalgae can produce oil without using up arable land and drinking water.

Read more at Kobe University

Image: Differences in cell contents based on presence of saltwater. (Credit: Kobe University)

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