Toyoda Gosei has invested around $900,000 USD in Friend Microbe Inc., a startup out of Nagoya University that is growing a wastewater treatment business that uses microorganisms to reduce the waste produced in manufacturing processes.
The wastewater treatment system developed by Friend Microbe breaks down the animal and vegetable oils used in the food industry and elsewhere in a short time using microorganisms, and has proven effectiveness in cutting industrial waste oils by more than 90% and reducing offensive odors. Application of the company’s technology is also promising for the breakdown of the oil content in difficult-to-treat industrial wastewater (mineral oil, etc.) on a level similar to plant- and animal-based oils.
The minimization of waste by 2050 is one of Toyoda Gosei’s long-term environmental goals (2050 Environmental Challenge). In collaboration with Friend Microbe, the company will seek practical application of technology to break down the mineral oil from steering wheel molding processes and mold cutting processes as it pursues sustainable manufacturing with a reduced environmental impact.