• News Release

    Satoshi Ohara, Project Associate Professor
    Yasunori Kikuchi, Professor

Piloting of biofuel production launched in Tanegashima aiming for regional revitalization and intensification by Co-JUNKAN project

Co-JUNKAN project* launches piloting of biofuel production in Tanegashima to demonstrate “Co-JUNKAN” concept in Tanegashima for regional revitalization and intensification in collaboration with Solariant Capital LLC and Sumitomo Corporation.

The research teams led by Dr. Satoshi Ohara, a project associate professor of IFI-UTokyo, are developing a series of green-transformation (GX) technologies to foster regional systems towards sustainability. It can convert regionally available excess resources such as the sugarcane bagasse (fibrous material leftover after sugar milling) and forest thinning (not suitable for building materials) into high-value-added commodities such as biofuel and green chemicals. The regional resources could shift the region from a fossil value chain to a renewable one with the enhancement of the regional economy, job creation, ecosystem conservation, and sustainable food production and forestry.

In close coordination with Dr. Ohara, Solariant Capital LLC will build a pilot biofuel plant by 2024’s end. Another key player is Sumitomo Corporation to identify end-users and to supply the newly produced biofuel to them upon the operation of a pilot plant in 2025. Both are members of the Co-JUNKAN project, and following the pilot, they plan to establish commercial plants, and expand sales in 2027.

*About the Co-JUNKAN project
This research is conducted by the research center of “Co-JUNKAN” platform toward beyond “zero carbon” (Project Leader: Dr. Yasunori Kikuchi, Professor of IFI-UTokyo), which is an open innovation platform for industry-academia co-creation program (COI-NEXT) supported by the Japan Science Technology Agency.

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