Study on Use of Microalgae with Eye towards Future Procurement of Raw Materials

Oil and Fat Production Technology

Kao is driving forward its oil-producing technology by studying microalgae as a part of a future strategy for procuring next-generation oil materials.
Medium chain fatty acids, used as a raw material in detergent and shampoo, are produced using palm kernel oil and coconut oil processed from those plants, which mainly grow in tropical rainforests. These oils are also utilized in food and in the future, along with population increases, demand is expected to increase. For this reason, attempts to procure sustainable oil materials not used as food products is essential.
Some types of microalgae, a kind of phytoplankton, are well known to contain a large amount of oil in their cells. Focusing attention on Nannochloropsis, an alga species with high oil-accumulation capacity, Kao is promoting development of a new strain by altering the oil metabolism with a self-cloning technique. Thus far, there has been successful development of a microalga strain that produces medium chain fatty acids for use as raw materials in detergent and shampoo products.
Furthermore, we are attempting to modify the photosynthetic function of microalgae to improve their oil productivity. Kao is striving to realize a sustainable oil production system by taking advantage of microalgae characteristics.

Microscopic photograph of a microalgae(Nannocholopsis sp.),
The purified oil from the microalgae

Related Actions and Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

SDGs GOAL 9:Industry,Innovation and Infrastructure

SDGs GOAL 12:Responsible Consumption and Production

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