Mazda backs carbon-neutral biofuel research on microalgae


In the United Kingdom, Mazda is involved in joint research projects and studies as part of an ongoing industry-academia-government collaboration to promote the wide-spread adoption of biofuels from microalgae growth. As part of its ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 long-term technology development programme, the company is committed to reducing its average ‘Well-to-Wheel’ CO2 emissions to 50% of 2010 levels by 2030, and to 90% by 2050.

Expecting that internal combustion engines combined with some form of electrification will still account for around 95% of the vehicles it produces in 2030, and that liquid fuel will remain dominant in the automotive industry until at least 2040, Mazda considers a renewable liquid fuel essential to drastic CO2 reduction. Because, when burnt, algae biofuel only releases CO2 recently removed from the atmosphere via photosynthesis as the algae grows.

Improving productivity and reducing costs are fundamental to the widespread future availability of algae biofuels. To that end, Mazda is lending research-accelerating technical support to both research into genome editing by Hiroshima University and the study of plant physiology by the Tokyo Institute of Technology, which is intended to lead to a breakthrough in these areas.