Currently, it takes some time to respond to comments because I have some other things I have to prioritize.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oil-producing microalgae?

According the announcement made by Makoto Watanabe at Tsukuba University in Japan,
he and his co-workers have found revolutionary microalgae in the sea near Okinawa
The newly found microalgae produce oil more than 10 times faster than previously found
species like Botryococcus Braunii.

Bio ethanol from corn     0.2t/ha
Rapeseed                        1.2t/ha
Oil palm                          6.0t/ha
Botryococcus braunii       118t/ha
Quoted from

Newly found microalgae   1180t-1416t/ha - are you serious Mr. Watanabe?

If we establish 20000 hectares of facility designed to cultivate the microalgae,
Japan's oil consumption will be perfectly covered, Mr. Watanabe said.

Kagoshima prefecture, one of the 47 prefectures in Japan, solely has as much as 24000 hectares of abandoned arable land. The more I learn about it the more it seems realistically practicable. This announcement sounds like an epoch-making one in the biofuel field despite my lack of knowledge.

Oil and other natural resources are supposed to belong to the country they are stored, then what about this seemingly lucrative microalgae? Do you think it should be treated in the same way as natural resources?
or would you claim it to be a common property of all countries?
I'm especially curious how oil-producing countries will react to this kind of news. Can it be anything but a threat to them? Can they stand on their own feet without the advantage of oil?


  1. Wow, i had no idea Japan was making so much progress on ideas like this. This is great news, Japan is such an innovative country =^.^=

    If it can be done practically i think it would be a great start, but i wonder how long it would take until it can be setup. I would imagine if everything proves to be practical the Botryococcus industry would take off very quickly.

    I admit i know next to nothing about the whole thing, but i would imagine it would be considered a national resources long as it's inside Japan's territorial waters and or exclusive economic zone. I don't think it should be any different than livestock, or plants since they are living organisms.

    I certainly can't see anyone else having any claim to economic activities inside Japan's economic zone (unless invited of course).

    Though i'm sure countries will start breeding more inside their own territory and mining them.

    I sure do hope everything goes well.

  2. According to Mr. Watanabe, the newly found microalgae enable the industry to reach practical level. I look forward to another news about the microalgae, and I demand the Japanese government to finance this kind of study. Even if it's not lucrative at the beginning, the accumulation of know-how will definitely benefit Japan in the future. Japan at present lacks natural resources, and thus we need intelligence to survive in this competitive world. This study has a great possibility to benefit Japan both intellectually and materially at a time.

  3. Have you ever heard about Methane hydrate in the Japanese territorial waters?
    Mr Sigeharu Aoyama and his team have been doing researches quite frequently. You can find some useful videos on youtube.
    This resource maight be a saviour as well as the one you talk about in this article.
    Great possibility,Yes,it is.

  4. Yup, this could be an important resource if used correctly. For the record, though Japan may indeed be an innovative country, don't think that applies here. Seems most of the research was done at UC Berkley.

  5. Thanks for the comments.
    I've watched Mr Aoyama's videos many times and he inspires me a lot.

    I'm sure the US knows much better than Japan regarding where to invest, it's no wonder that the US, at present, is far ahead.

  6. I'm not sure if that's sarcasm or not, but it's true.

  7. It was meant to have a literal meaning.
    I'm still not perfect at the usage of English, so please forgive me if it sounded like an insult to you.
    By the way, I'm glad that you still keep an eye on my blog. I appreciate it.

  8. Sorry! I just wasn't sure what you meant since the U.S. economy isn't too strong right now, either.

    I'm glad you're still writing! Many bloggers write for a short time and then give up. Keep up the good work!