Mazda supports research into carbon-neutral biofuels

While some automakers have started distancing themselves from internal combustion engines (ICEs), Mazda thinks otherwise. The Japanese carmaker expects liquid fuel to remain dominant in the automotive industry until at least 2040, and that 95% of the vehicles it produces in 2030 to have ICEs paired with some form of electrification.

Despite this, the company’s “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030” plan is aimed at reducing its average well-to-wheel CO2 emissions to 50% of 2010 levels by 2030, and to 90% by 2050. One initiative to ensure this happens is to involve itself in joint research projects and studies to promote the widespread adoption of biofuels from microalgae growth.

According to the company, algae biofuel only releases CO2 recently removed from the atmosphere via photosynthesis as the algae grew, thus helping to achieve carbon neutrality of cars powered by an ICE.

There are other benefits too, as algae fuels can be farmed on land unsuitable for agriculture, can be grown with minimal impact on freshwater resources, can be produced using saline and wastewater, have a high flash point, and are biodegradable and relatively harmless to the environment if spilled.

With these advantages, Mazda is providing technical support to the research into algae genome editing by Hiroshima University and plant physiology by the Tokyo Institute of Technology, which is intended to lead to a breakthrough in these areas.