Do You DeuSEL? This Bus Does, Running On Biofuel Made From Euglena Algae

Isuzu Motors and the Euglena Company have teamed up to promote the use of DeuSEL, a biofuel made from processed algae.

The joint venture project's rolling ambassador is a brightly colored bio-diesel sipping Isuzu bus and efforts are underway to expand the service to public bus routes by 2018.

The appeal of commercial biofuels is that they draw CO2 from the air during their growth phase, thus reducing their carbon footprint when they're burned as fuel. Every silver lining has its dark cloud, however, and plants grown for biofuel take up land that might have been used to grow food crops.

Enter Euglena, a one-celled “protist” organism that taxonomically falls between the Animal and Plant kingdoms.

The Euglena Company has been farming the so-called Midorimushi (literally, “green bugs”) since 2005, and since then they've been exploring a host of ways to exploit the wee beasties: biofuel for jets and exotic hamburgers to mention just a couple.

The automotive sector, however, offers the Euglena Company the largest possible market for their algae-based biofuels and by partnering with Isuzu to promote the use of DeuSEL (DieSEL + EUglena), the company hopes to get its foot in the door to more widespread use of its products.

The Isuzu bus that both promotes and runs on DeuSEL is a shuttle bus that takes workers to and from the Shonandai train station and the Isuzu Fujisawa factory in Kanagawa Prefecture, just south of metro Tokyo.

Should all go well, both Isuzu and Euglena hope to expand the program to provide DeuSEL-powered public bus service to municipalities across the country. (via Impress Watch)