vol.04 Cultivate Euglena with CO2 emitted from the chimney. | Sustainable Times by Euglena | Sustainable Times by euglena

euglena Project


CO emitted from the chimney 2 so
Incubate Euglena.

Use of exhaust gas from thermal power plants

2008.08 – 2009.02


Demonstrate the potential of Euglena

Arata, who joined the company as a new graduate in 2008, was trying to challenge a research that had never been done before, "cultivating Euglena in the exhaust gas of a thermal power plant" shortly after joining the company.

One day, Kengo Suzuki and Arata, the directors in charge of research and development (at that time) who were presenting the possibility of Euglena outside the company, had a hard time answering the questions asked by the participants.
"Can Euglena be actually cultivated in the exhaust gas of a thermal power plant?"

According to a paper by Professor Nagahisa Nakano, a leading researcher in Euglena, Euglena has excellent photosynthetic ability and can absorb even high concentrations of CO 2 of 15 to 20% (Professor Nakano et al., 1995) *.. In other words, it was suggested that culturing Euglena using the exhaust gas from a general thermal power plant, which contains around 15% CO 2, would lead to a reduction in CO 2 emissions to the environment.
However, CO 2 is not the only component contained in the exhaust gas of thermal power plants. Since it also contains nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides, there is a concern that Euglena may not be cultivated due to the influence of components other than CO 2, and it can be cultivated with confidence. I couldn't say that. Suzuki, who returned to the laboratory, opened his mouth. "The only way to be proud to say that Euglena is useful for improving the environment is to demonstrate ..."

At that time.
"Let me do it"
In his first year as a new graduate, Arata volunteered for a project to "cultivate Euglena in the exhaust gas from a thermal power plant." Suzuki pushed Arata's back shortly after joining the company.
"Mr. Arata ... Please try it!"

With expectations from Suzuki and colleagues in the company, Arata will be in charge of this project. The demonstration experiment will be conducted at the Kin Thermal Power Station with the cooperation of Okinawa Electric Power Co., Inc.

The time given is practically one month

Arata was impatient at the beginning of 2009.
Due to the schedule of the companies involved in the field, the time required for the demonstration experiment to cultivate Euglena in the exhaust gas of the thermal power plant was only one month, and the result of the preliminary experiment was not good. Moreover, even in the process of preparing for the demonstration experiment, problems that were not expected one after another occurred to catch up.

Even in Okinawa, the temperature in January was low, and the water temperature became so low that it was not suitable for culturing Euglena, so we hurriedly decided to introduce equipment that could heat the culture solution. Further, in the device for ventilating the exhaust gas to the culture tank, the dew condensation generated by the rapid cooling of the exhaust gas due to the cold clogs the piping, causing a trouble that the fan for ventilating the exhaust gas stops.

I was almost crushed by impatience and pressure many times, but I couldn't give up considering my research and colleagues.
I swore to my heart again and worked hard to deal with the trouble.
"Absolutely make this project a success"

  • Arata checking the equipment

  • Demonstration test equipment using exhaust gas from thermal power plants

Finally, it was the first day of the demonstration test using the exhaust gas from the thermal power plant. After adjusting the culture solution and culture conditions that had been studied in advance, 10 liters of culture solution containing Euglena cultured for 3 weeks was put into the culture tank.
"I should have done everything I could."
Even if I told myself that, I couldn't sleep that night.

On the second day of the demonstration experiment, I headed to the power plant with a feeling of prayer.

"The green is darker than yesterday ...!"
Arata sighed for the first time when this experiment began, when he brought back the culture medium and confirmed that Euglena was increasing by measuring the concentration and the number of cells with a microscope.

Inside the Euglena culture tank in the first week of the exhaust gas aeration experiment (left: immediately after the start of culture, right: at the end of culture)

After that, the number of Euglena increased steadily, and this experiment demonstrated that Euglena can grow even if the exhaust gas from the thermal power plant is ventilated. In other words, it was possible to cultivate Euglena without killing it with components such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides.

In the 4th week experiment in which only air was aerated and cultured, protozoa called rotifers that prey on Euglena were generated and the number of Euglena decreased. From this result, aeration of exhaust gas promoted the growth of protozoa. We were also able to confirm the effect of suppressing and creating an environment in which only Euglena can grow.

There was a lot of pressure to try an experiment that no one had accomplished in the first year of new graduates, but Arata was deeply grateful to Suzuki and his friends for letting him challenge himself. After completing all the experiments, he became even more passionate about the new application and future of "utilizing Euglena for environmental technology."

* Nagahisa Nakano (1995) "Adaptation of Euglena gracilis to high CO 2 environment and its mechanism" Journal of CELSS Society 7 (2), p15-18

Euglena Data

~ Mechanism of photosynthesis ~


Research and Development Department
Biofuel Development Section Chief
Ryo Arata

Joined a new graduate in 2008. Engaged in biofuel research.
"Looking back now, the success of this experiment was the starting point for subsequent biofuel development as a result of the company's earnestness and ability to execute biofuel development. For me, one project was carried out from start to finish. I think I was able to grow significantly by doing this. "

euglena Projects


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Euglena, which no one can do
Establish outdoor mass culture technology.


Raise it to the 30 billion yen market.


Lunch for all elementary schools.


CO emitted from the chimney 2 so
Incubate Euglena.


Euglena cosmetics business
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Japan's first bio-jet fuel
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Spread it.


Acquire super-Euglena.


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Develop a new product with Takeda using Euglena.


Cultivate Euglena using sewage in sewage treatment plants.


Create a set of guiding principles for euglena’s employees.


Cultivate Euglena using Japanese proprietary technology.


Aim to create an office that promotes a pleasant working environment for our employees.


Establish the Yugurin Nursery School next to our office.


Contribute to community revitalization on Ishigaki Island with Euglena.


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Jointly develop new products


Open a Euglena café on Ishigaki Island.


Raise Hinai chickens using Euglena as animal feed.


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Produce biofuel using Euglena.





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Obtain ASC-MSC algae certification.


Build synergy with group companies.


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Make people healthy at the genetic level.


With Jiyugaoka
Spread Euglena.


Launch a processing plant for Euglena supplements.


Contribute to community revitalization on Ishigaki Island through the power of science.


Develop new Euglena core cosmetics.


Contribute toward solving food shortages among Rohingya refugees.


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Elucidate the research.


Supporting students in taking on challenges!
Start all-year-round recruitment.


Acquire Halal certification for Euglena and Chlorella.


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Discover the possibilities.


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Drive your car on Euglena biodiesel fuel at the G20 Karuizawa.


Plan a mascot character to communicate the appeal of Euglena from Ishigaki Island.


Recruit and select CFOs (Chief Financial Officers).


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Japan's first "virtual only
Hold a general meeting of shareholders.


next-generation biodiesel fuel
popularize it


Renew your identity.


Born in Ishigaki Island
Euglena permeate.


derived from Euglena
Accelerate fertilizer research.