We have developed two categories of algal technologies since the establishment; 1) Conversion technologies from ByLPO* to DHA by heterotrophic microalgae, resulting in purification of ByLPO, and 2) algae-based fuel production technologies using algal polyculture and HTL** conversion system.
(*By-product of palm oil production process prior to the release as a POME into treatment pond and **Hydrothermal Liquefaction: react from algae biomass under high temperature and pressure for 10 – 30 min to convert it to bio-crude oil)
We are developing technologies to produce high-quality DHA with high efficiency using ByLPO as a nutrient source.
We are applying several patents based on the technologies developed so far. The technologies can also reduce BOD of ByLPO level significantly lower. We are the first in the world that develop a technology that simultaneously able to meet the environmental and economic requirements.
The technologies solve the environmental and economic issues of POME
As the largest palm oil producing country in the world, Indonesia has more than 875 palm oil production plantations. These plantations discharge a large amount of POME (Palm Oil Mill Effluents) exceeding to 455,000MT (m3) per day. POME has a high BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) value, therefore has become a hotbed for water pollution and greenhouse gas emission such as methane gas. Although a number of investigations and several solution proposal countermeasures have been made since 2000, unfortunately, an effective and realistic solution has not yet been found. Thus, currently, POME has become one of the major environmental problems that are concerned worldwide.
Used a DHA-rich heterotrophic alga, Aurantiochytrium limacinum which was isolated and developed as a clonal axenic culture strain by Algae Biomass and Energy system R&D Center, University of Tsukuba, we have succeeded in creating a mass production of the Aurantiochytrium strain and high-quality DHA oil. The ByLPO, which is an original source of POME, enabled the Aurantiochytrium strain to grow exceedingly well and made BOD value of culture liquid phase decrease to less than one tenth compared to the original ByLPO. The liquid waste that contain low level of BOD can be further treated in oxidation pond to be reduced to <20 ppm of BOD. Our technologies are able to immediately solve environmental and economic issues in relation to POME.
We create “paradigm shift”
MoBiol technologies produce high-value algae-based products including not only high-quality DHA oil, but also pc-DHA (phosphatidylcholine-DHA which activates brain nervous system), aquatic feed that able to increase DHA content of seafood, and livestock feed that produces chicken eggs that contain high content of pc-DHA.
Through the same production area as palm oil production, the sales profit derived from these algal products (DHA, feeds, etc) using ByLPO can be expected to be several times higher compared to the palm oil business.
The main source of revenue obtained from palm oil’s stakeholders will dramatically shift from palm oil to high-value algae-based products. We believe the increase in revenue will help solve not only environmental and economic problems but also social problem such as poverty and equality as shown in SDGs 2030 goals.
Using our innovative algae technology, we can achieve:
- Production of high-value algae-based products, creating vast-growing new industry and market
- Purification of POME resulting in nature conservation.
- Reduction of methane gas emission, greatly contributes to the prevention of global warming in Indonesia and Malaysia
- Paradigm shift in palm oil industry; main income shifts from palm oil to algae-based products using ByLPO
- Sustainable palm oil-algae biomass production system complied with most of 17 SDGs 2030 goals
Second milestone: Algae-based fuel production system technology using algal polyculture and HTL conversion system
We developed production system technology for algae-based biocrude oil using native algae- polyculture and HTL conversion system.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced the plan to introduce bio jet fuel with a goal to reduce the CO2 emissions by 50% in 2020, thus it is consequentially increasing the prospects for future biofuel development. In particular, microalgae are attracting worldwide attention as next-generation sources of biofuels because such product does not compete with food production unlike terrestrial plants.
The ability to produce fuel from microalgae has already been shown in a number of research papers from universities, research institutions and private companies around the world. However, in order to put this to practical use, it is necessary to reduce production costs below the price of petroleum,securing a wide area of land, and a considerable amount of water for culturing a large number of microalgae used as feedstocks for biofuel.
We have chosen Indonesia as the location to solve a those critical problem mentioned above.
As shown in Table 1, Indonesia’s nominal GDP per capita is about one-tenth of Japan with land area five times larger. It is economically advantageous, for the reason that we can reduce the cost of production and secure a vast area of land.
Since 2004, Indonesia has changed from an oil exporting country to an importing country, thus the development of alternative oil resources has become one of national’s main issues, which aligned with the sudden demand for fuel production technology.
Table 1. Comparison of economic and areal condition between Japan and Indonesia
|Nominal GDP per capita (2017)||USD 3,876||USD 38,440|
|Land area (2018）||1,913,580km2||377,974km2|
|Population (2017）||261.89 million||127.09 million|
*Source: JETRO, Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
For these reasons, in order to meet the demand of fuel production system in Indonesia, we have developed algae pilot plant facilities, systemizing elemental technologies and also improving system technology in accordance with the climate and environmental conditions of Indonesia.
We are consisting of professionals and structured organization specializing in basic and applied researches and development of industrial technology of algae biomass.
In collaboration with Algae Biomass and Energy System R&D Center (ABES), University of Tsukuba and the Algae Industry Incubation Consortium Japan (AIIC), we are continuing the development of innovative science and technology related to high-value products (DHA, feeds, antioxidants, etc.) and fuel production.