Monday, December 27, 2010
Takenaka, Others To Build Offshore Biofuel Plant
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Tokyo Institute of Technology, Takenaka Corp. and others are planning an offshore pilot plant that aims to grow algae that will absorb carbon dioxide and produce biofuel.
A rendering of an offshore plant producing fuel and other useful products.
Takao Kashiwagi, a professor at the university, and six other people from the government, business and academic sectors will set up a foundation in April for the project. The effort aims to use the ocean more effectively for energy production, which is less developed than land-based production, as well as use algae and other marine life to produce fuel and other products.
The wide-ranging project aims to develop technology to absorb and store carbon dioxide; conduct biofuel research; increase production of algae that can break down fats for use in health products; build large, floating artificial islands; and conduct research on infrastructure such as electricity, water and sewerage for offshore facilities.
Takenaka, together with Okinawa Electric Power Co. (9511) and others, is currently experimenting with growing algae in an offshore tank in the sea off Okinawa Prefecture. Seawater and gasses emitted by plants are injected into the tank.
The company will begin working with local governments on similar experiments, most likely in fiscal 2011, in Hokkaido, Aichi, Akita, Aomori and Toyama prefectures in hopes of building a large offshore plant that can make fuel and other useful products.
Before the foundation is set up, the team will solicit participation by other businesses in the project, probably in early 2011.
It expects about 50 companies from a range of industries, including energy, construction, food and pharmaceuticals, to take part.
(The Nikkei Dec. 27 evening edition)
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