Honda, the Japanese car-marker, is seeking new ways to go carbon neutral. The company plans to build a massive new facility for commercial production of algae to offset emissions and hit its net zero goal.
The company’s technology has improved algae’s growing process – 32 times in a single day, compared with once or twice per day for ordinary algae and also has its infection resistance improved.
The facility will test mass production of the organic material. It will be about 1,000 square meters (10,760 square feet) which will add to the company’s decarbonization efforts. According to Honda, apart from capturing and sequestering CO2 as a natural carbon sink, the algae could later be utilized by the industry for the production of biofuels or plastics.
The company plans to use biofuels made from algae for its HondaJet airplane, as well as for electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft or eVTOLs, which could be ready for commercialization in 2030s.
The goal of Honda is to become net zero for its entire supply chain by 2050 and discontinue selling gasoline-powered cars by 2040. According to its sustainability report, its scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions for the fiscal year through 2021 were 4.5 million tons while for 2020 they were 5.03 million tons.
The total greenhouse gas emissions from the entire value chain were 303.12 million tons of CO2 equivalent for 2020 which includes scope 3 emissions from customer use of sold products and 254.48 million tons CO2eq. for 2021 – the lowest levels registered over the past couple of years.
Honda as the fifth largest car company in the world is setting up an example for achieving its net-zero by 2050 pledge and taking action by developing its existing carbon emissions reduction technologies.
Algae to offset emissions is receiving attention because of its utilization value or ability to be converted into a variety of new products, however, more effort should be put into carbon negative technologies that not only capture emissions but also store them permanently so they do not enter back our atmosphere.