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Environment/Energy (Low carbon society/energy)

  • SDGs7
Principal Investigator (Affiliation) 日本 Assistant Prof.
KANDA Hideki
(Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University) researchmap
南アフリカ Prof.
Faizal Bux
(Durban University of Technology)
Research Institutions in Japan Nagoya University / Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology / Aichi Shukutoku University
Research Institutions in South Africa Durban University of Technology / Ethekwini Municipality / The Agricultural Research Council / Technology Innovation Agency
Adoption fiscal year FY 2015
Research Period 5 Years
ODA Recipient Country Republic of South Africa
General Description of the Research Project

Converting microalgae produced from sewage into fuel and fertilizer using new solvent extraction methods!
Although mass culture of CO2-absorbing microalgae from sewage was successfully achieved in the Republic of South Africa, in order to convert these into fuel a drying process which uses fossil fuels is required, leading to a contradictory state in which the process actually increases net CO2 emissions. To solve this problem, we are developing a fuel conversion (oil extraction) device that uses a new solvent known as liquefied DME, which we will install at the local site. Microalgae residue is mixed with wood chips and formed into mats, which are used as fertilizer. To ensure these technologies take root in the Republic of South Africa, we are also working to construct a sustainable environmental business model and train local personnel.

Reduction of CO2 on a global scale using microalgae, which possess outstanding photosynthesis capabilities.
The new extractant allows conversion of microalgae to fuel in warm water at a temperature of less than 100°C. Furthermore, residue that has been converted to fertilizer can help enrich soil by recovering nitrogen and phosphorus from sewage. If the business model and personnel training methods related to these technologies can be expanded to other regions, this project has the potential to contribute to the improvement of the energy issues and the aquatic and geo-environment on a global scale.

Photo gallery
The test field of this project is a microalgae culture pool at a sewage treatment plant in Durban, South Africa.

The test field of this project is a microalgae culture pool at a sewage treatment plant in Durban, South Africa.

The interior of the culture pool. In this facility, microalgae are cultured from treated sewage.

The interior of the culture pool. In this facility, microalgae are cultured from treated sewage.

Microalgae viewed under a fluorescence microscope. These organisms show promise in biofuel production.

Microalgae viewed under a fluorescence microscope. These organisms show promise in biofuel production.

Research Project Web site -
Press Release -
Reports -
Links The Institute for Water and Waste water Technology, Durban University of Technology
Transport phenomena control engineering laboratory, Department of Materials Process Engineering, Nagoya University
Prof. Yamada laboratory, Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University
Agricultural Research Council
eThekwini Municipality

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