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Euglena to commercialize an algae-derived jet fuel by 2020

Staff writer |
Japanese company Euglena took another step forward in its ambition to commercialize an algae-derived jet fuel by 2020 with an announcement that it will build Japan's first algae biofuel refinery.

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The demonstration plant, to be built in Yokohama for around JPY 3 billion, is to come online in the first half of 2018.

Using technology from Chevron, the Japanese venture plans to produce 125 kiloliters a year that can be certified as jet fuel. Euglena will partner with engineering company Chiyoda, ANA Holdings, Isuzu Motors and Itochu Enex, a subsidiary of trading house Itochu, on construction, commercialization and procurement.

In a news conference at Haneda Airport here, company President Mitsuru Izumo held up a flask of liquid. "This is a jet fuel made from euglena that can be used as is in aircraft," he said.

The fluid, refined in the U.S. from oil extracted from euglena - the algae after which the company is named - has the same chemical makeup as the kerosene used to fuel planes.

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