THE LATEST FUEL CELL NEWS IN JAPAN, FEBRUARY 2002

Arranged by T. HOMMA
1. Governmental Activity
2. NEDO Projects
3. Local Government Activity
4. Development of MCFC
5. Development and Demonstration of SOFC
6. Development and Demonstration of DMFC
7. Development and Demonstration of PEFC for Domestic Application
8. The Front of FCV
9. Hydrogen and Fuel Related Technology
10. Business of GTL Plants
11. Micro FC for Portable Equipment
12. FC Related Technology
13. Company's Activity

1. Governmental Activity
(1)Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
    METI intends to assign a little more than 10 billion yen in the budget of 2002(FY) to develop FCV including new subjects. 2.5 billion yen newly added will be used for PEFC demonstration test including hydrogen supply system and driving test of FCV on public road. 3.1 billion yen is assigned for infrastructure or preparation to diffuse PEFC in market and 5.3 billion yen is for technical development of PEFC.
    (The Daily Automotive News January 7, 2002)

(2)Ministry of the Environment
    The Ministry has decided to study deregulation on measurement duty for pollutants, which includes simplification of the way concerning monitoring and measurement of LNG power station and fuel cell which are requested to measure air pollutants by the Air Pollution Control Act, reflecting the request from Keidanren (The Federation of Economic Organization) and Council for Regulatory Reform. And the above contents will be incorporated in 3 years governmental deregulation plan. The Ministry decided to revise the related laws in 2002(FY) and already started research for current effluent states in the industries. Dust and sulfur must be measured voluntarily for facilities prescribed by Air Pollution Protection Law and the ministerial ordinance. In case of fuel cell, reformer is a object for regulation as air pollutant source and measurements twice a year are requested for fuel cell fueled town gas.
    (Denki Shimbun January 29, 2002)
 
2. NEDO Projects
    Hydrogen stations for demonstration have been completed, which are electrolysis of water used PEM and natural gas reforming types, having conducted by Engineering Advancement Association of Japan, entrusted from NEDO and the natural gas reforming type will be introduced for public on February 7, 2002 and PEM type will be on February 28. These two stations both can charge hydrogen for vehicle with hydrogen storing alloy storage system in a short time. PEM type is consisted of 50 cells of 1000 cm2 electrode area and it has capability to supply hydrogen of 30 Nm3 /Hr and this represents one tenth scale of practical hydrogen station of 300 vehicle per day. 25-30 Nm3 hydrogen per car is generally requested to charge. This facility uses electric power for electrolysis during night and the hydrogen produced is stored as metal hydride. This facility is in Sikoku Research Institute Inc. in Takamatsu city and the general contractor is Nippon Sanso Corporation and main developer for key part of the facility is Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Japan Steel Works is in charge of hydrogen storing alloy. In case of reforming type, the scale is the same as PEM type and the facility is in Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. and Osaka Gas is in charge of reformer and gas treatment system. General contractor is Iwatani International Corporation, trading house, and Japan Metal and Chemical Co., Ltd. is in charge of hydrogen storing alloy and Iwatani Industrial Gases Corporation is to supply dispenser. Charge speed of hydrogen to vehicle is 25 Nm3/10 min. in both facilities and they have two storage tank with hydrogen storing alloy to be able to store 30 Nm3 by one tank. This hydrogen storing alloy can keep initial performance even after 5000 cycle repeating charge and discharge.
    Major purpose of these facilities is to get detailed data such as charging time, the life and energy consumption during two years demonstration period and then standard hydrogen stations for 100, 200, 300 car per day will be proposed according to the test results. General speaking, one hydrogen station can be installed now at 200-300 million yen and the cost will be reduced through the standardization.
    (Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun January 4, 2002 Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Denki Shimbun, Nikkan Kensetsu Kogyo Shimbun January 25, 2002)
 
3. Local Government Activity
(1)Tokyo Metropolitan Government
    Tokyo decided to introduce FC bus running regular route in Tokyo Waterfront City on January 9, 2002. 15 million yen to get site for hydrogen station in 2002 budget was assigned. And Tokyo plans to introduce fuel cell bus in 2003 and intends to make Tokyo Waterfront City a center for practical test and public relations of FCV, they said. The hydrogen station will be installed at 2000 m2 area owned by Tokyo, which is near the Tokyo Big Site and will be operated and maintained by private industries to be raised from now.
    (Yomiuri Shimbun January 10, 2002)
    Tokyo assigned budget of 10 million yen for demonstration test of FC bus as new item related to environment budgets in 2002. Hydrogen station will be installed within 2002 and the contractor will be raised in February. Tokyo decided to prepare the site of 2400 m2 in Tokyo Waterfront City and to start to supply hydrogen in 2003. Tokyo intends to strengthen regulation on diesel engine car and introduce FC bus into public road usually congested.
    (Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun January 22, 2002 Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun January 30, 2002)

(2)Hiroshima City
    Hiroshima announced that they will establish Research Organization in 2003, in order to develop materials in future energy fields especially for fuel cell related. They will study the site mainly in Seihu-Shinto. Hiroshima city government wants Hiroshima University to participate who has excellent capability in hydrogen storing alloy and also other participants such as General Motors Corporation and Ford Motor Company who already dispatched research mission to Hiroshima and also domestic car companies such as Toyota Motor Corporation, Mazda Motor Corporation and electric and gas utility companies including The Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc. Hiroshima targets to generate new industries making use of the fruits from the organization. Hiroshima University succeeded to develop a thin metal membrane which can absorb much hydrogen even under low temperature of 100 or lower and be applied practically, under cooperation research with Prefectural Western Center for Industrial Technology and Mazda. And they also developed method to absorb hydrogen 3-4 times more than conventional hydrogen storing alloy by using graphite subdivided to nano-level, under cooperation with Kyoto University. The organization will conduct research and development for cheap and light hydrogen storing alloy for the time being and will tackle development of new energy related materials for next generation to fuel cell in future.
    (Chugoku Shimbun January 18, 2002)

(3)Nagoya City
    Nagoya plans a cooperate research with Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. and other private industry on methane production from garbage and the way to make use of it. Chubu Electric succeeded the development of gas production facility for fuel cell from garbage as main resources in March 2001 and the cooperation research has been started because Chubu is one of the members for the pre-study group. They intends to study on time passed after collection , the water contents, gas generation rate and the quality in various case and the quality and also the possibility of application such as mixture with town gas or fuel for automobile.
    (Chunichi Shimbun January 24, 2002)
 
4. Development of MCFC
    IHI(Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.) has transferred their facilities concerning MCFC development from Tokyo to Aioi Works. The reason why they transferred their facilities is that MCFC development has reached to practical level and Aioi is main factory of electric related business including fuel cell. They has transferred production facilities and performance test facilities at end of 2001. They will fabricate two MCFC 300 kW units in 2002 and will increase their production and also scale up of the unit from 2003. They will start production of 360 MW class MCFC around 2010.
    (Kobe Shimbun January 23, 2002)
 
5. Development and Demonstration of SOFC
    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. succeeded power generation operation for 7500 Hr and attained 15 kW in maximum power by plate type SOFC under cooperation research. They intend to operate it more than 40000 Hr and to get prospect for commercialization by 2004. The electrolyte is corrugated plate which has increased strength and power density and the sealing material for fuel cell edge is ceramics. The stack is consisted of 30 cells in horizontal direction which has 20 cm square and 1 kW per cell. The power density of 0.24 W/cm2 has been recorded.
    (Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun January 10, 2002)
 
6. Development and Demonstration of DMFC
    Yuasa Co., Ltd. trial fabricated DMFC power source system of 100W and 300 W in maximum. They target to demonstrate the units and to commercialize them in 2004. It is said that the unit can generate power for 24 Hr by 1 litre of methanol and pure water.
    (Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun January 10, 2002) )
    Yuasa decided a policy to start mass production of DMFC in 2003 because they succeeded development of 100 W and 300 W DMFC proto type units. Their plan is to install exclusive production line at their Osaka factory in 2002 and bring fuel cell up to one of major business in future, which sales amount is several 10 billion yen. The proto-type power generation system developed by Yuasa uses 3 % water solution of methanol as fuel and the voltage is 100 V. The sizes are 30 cmW x 50 cmD x 40 cmH for 100 W and 50 cmW x 50 cmD x 60 cmH for 300 W and the weights are 25 kg and 60 kg. It is considered that they stepped their development up to mass production because they judged their DMFC technology reached practical level.
    (The Chemical Daily January 18, 2002)
7. Development and Demonstration of PEFC for Domestic Application
(1)Ebara-Ballard
    Ebara-Ballard announced on January 8, 2002 that they attained 34 % power generation efficiency(LHV and AC net efficiency base) on January 8, 2002, by 1 kW PEFC cogeneration unit developed for domestic application, fueled town gas. This is trial fabricated unit called proto-type 2 and 81 % was recorded in total efficiency as the result improved efficiency and heat recovery rate. The unit size is 274 litre which is 40 % smaller than proto-type 1 fabricated last year. The PEFC stack is made by BPS(Ballard Power Systems) and fuel treatment system is integrated, which is licensed from Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. They will step their development stage up to pre-commercial level and will put it into market as commercial product in 2004.
    (Denki Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun January 9, 2002 Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun January 10, 2002)

(2)Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.
    Tokyo Gas announced on January 10, 2002 that they concluded non exclusive license agreement with Ebara-Ballard which is joint venture company established by Ebara Corporation and BGS(Ballard Generation Systems), on fuel treatment system for PEFC cogeneration system. And the 4 companies, Tokyo Gas, Ebara-Ballard, Ebara, BGS have agreed to enter new phase that they develop 1 kW PEFC cogeneration system for domestic use using the licensed technology and put it into market. Applicable fuels for the licensed technology are methane rich gas like town gas or LPG.
    Tokyo Gas has developed compact and efficient reforming technology and high performance catalyst for de-sulfurization to be able to use at atmospheric temperature and will give the patents and know- how on the technologies to Ebara-Ballard and BGS independently. Therefore, Ebara-Ballard and BGS will pay royalty to Tokyo Gas prescribed in the agreement when they use the technology.
    (Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Denki Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, The Chemical Daily January 11, 2002 Denpa Shimbun January 15, 2002)

(3)Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
    Sanyo announced on January 15, 2002 that they has agreed to cooperate in fuel cell technology for domestic use with Samson Research Institute which is research organization in Samson Group in Korea. Sanyo and Samson will exchange information by mutually dispatching researcher. Sanyo intends early commercialization of fuel cell cogeneration system by combining the technologies both companies have although Sanyo originally has targeted to commercialize domestic fuel cell in 2004. They don't think that both companies will cooperate in production and sales.
    (Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Denpa Shimbun January 16, 2002)

(4)LPG
    Liquefied Petroleum Gas Center is to develop LPG fueled PEFC, entrusted from NEDO. The targets are to develop reformer for LPG and 1 kW PEFC cogeneration system technology for domestic use to be practical level which results in 80% in total efficiency. The participants are Nippon Mitsubishi Oil Corporation, Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Air-Water Inc. and Iwatani International Corporation and the duration is 5 years and the budget is 2.1 billion yen( subsidy is 2/3). Interim review will be conducted in 2003 and will carry out demonstration test in 2004.
    (Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun January 16, 2002)

(5)The Japan Gas Association
    The Association has completed Phase 1 stage of demonstration test which 11 units of 1 kW class PEFC for home use, 7 companies, have been tested by and will start Phase 2 from March 2002. The Phase 2 is to conduct demonstration test in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya for recently developed units (from December 2001 to February 2002) by Ebara Corporation, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Toshiba Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation from domestic and Plug Power instead of H Power in Phase 1 from foreign company. Main purpose for Phase 2 is to verify durability and to operate for 8000 Hr although all participants have operated about 1000 Hr in Phase 1. 34 % is the highest efficiency of PEFC recorded by Ebara so far and most other cases are around 30 %. Therefore, each company intends to improve efficiency first and then to participate the durability test.
    On the other hand, New Energy Foundation is to start demonstration test at selected home from October, 2002 through rental from fuel cell makers. PEFC for domestic application will be realized in 2004 or 2005 from these activity.
    (Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun January 17, 2002)
 
8. The Front of FCV
(1)Toho Gas Co., Ltd.
    Toho Gas have trial fabricated FCV and developed hydrogen charging unit, which FCV is based on one seat battery car distributing pizza for home, fabricated by Mitsuoka Motor Co., Ltd. Two 250 W PEFC made in USA has been installed on the FCV and it can run 45 km and the cost to modify battery car to FCV is just several million yen, they said. Toho Gas Research Institute is to tackle technology development to charge hydrogen making use of facility to reform natural gas to hydrogen in Toho Gas Research Institute.
    (Chunichi Shimbun December 31, 2001)

(2)Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
    Nissan announced their medium term environment program of "Nissan Green Program 2005" including development of FCV to be able to put it into market by 2005. They will participate governmental program of FCV demonstration test carried out in 2002 and accumulate know how to commercialize. The fuel for FCV is to adopt high pressure hydrogen for the time being, they said. They intend to reduce environmental load by recycling car and setting low target figures for exhaust.
    (Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun, The Daily Automotive News January 29, 2002)
 
9. Hydrogen and Fuel Related Technology
iPjIDEMITSU KOSAN CO., LTD
    IDEMITSU announced that they developed desulfurization material which can reduce sulfur contents in kerosene to 1/1,000. As the carbon amount in kerosene is 12 times of natural gas and 2 times of naphtha, the carbon combines with sulfur and increases aromatic compounds. So, desulfurization from kerosene is more difficult comparing with natural gas and reforming technology for kerosene had not been established. Overcoming this issue by mixing desurfurization material with metal such as nickel, they confirmed that the desurfurizer could withstand for continuous operation of 4,000 hours. Kerosene is available at any gas station in whole country and its infrastructure for supply is more established comparing with these for LPG and naphtha. Therefore, it is expected that many electric equipment manufacturer will boost the development of kerosene fueled FC seriously as these technologies have great influence on realization of home use FC when desufurizing and reforming technology of kerosene had been developed. Based on this technology, IDEMITSU will start development for realization of kerosene fueled FC from the spring of 2002 and aim at commercialization in 2004.
    The developed desulfurization material "IADS-147" is made of mixture of nickel and 2 ~ 3 kinds of metals and sintered after mixed with acid and alkali water solution. The size is 2 mm in diameter and it constitutes stack of thin metal layer of 1/1,000 cm of which nucleus is ceramics, silica. The composition and shape are optimized to adsorb only sulfur element on the metals in surface of the desulfurizer.
    The sulfur elements are removed by charging heated kerosene at 200 into the reactor which contains desulfurization material. In case of kerosene in market which contains 30 ~ 50 ppm sulfur, the desulfurizing process can reduce the sulfur composition down to 0.05 ppm.
    (Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun January 04, 2002)

(2) Mitsubishi Kakoki Kaisha, Ltd. (MKK)
    MKK developed medium size hydrogen production unit of which cost is 20 % less than their conventional unit. The feedstock is town gas or LPG and hydrogen production capacity is 200 m3 per hour. The new unit is scaled up from the conventional small size on-site hydrogen production unit and designed to be able to pre-fabricate most parts at the factory. So, the installation and piping works at site is minimized and the cost reduction is realized. Fabricating and assembling almost all parts at Kawasaki factory and the unit can be delivered by a trailer.
    MKK had fabricated at the site before in case of plant exceeding 100 m3, under the license agreement with a Denmark company. This time, increasing pre-fabrication portion in the factory and eliminating license fee, the new unit contributes to cost reduction. The price of 200 ~ 300 m3 hydrogen production unit will be less than 200 million yen. For the FCV hydrogen supply station, the hydrogen supply unit of 200 ~300 m3 will be required and MKK started trial design for application of new unit to the station.
    (Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun January 11, 2002)

(3) Tokyo University of Science
    Prof. Yasukazu Saito, Faculty of Engineering, Tokyo University of Science, developed a light weight and compact process(medium) for hydrogen storage and transport for FC, which utilizes liquid hydro-carbon "decalin". By improving catalyst conditions, reaction of decalin which is conversion to naphthalene by discharging hydrogen, progressed smoothly at low temperature of 210 .
    In laboratory test, after put decalin into reactor (3 mm liter for 0.75 g catalyst), which catalyst is consisted of carbon loaded small amount of platinum and then put them in a reactor, the decalin on surface of catalyst is boiled and refluxed at 210 for 2.5 hours. The decalin on the surface of catalyst became "heated liquid film state" and hydrogen discharge reaction progressed smoothly. The conversion efficiency and thermal efficiency, 27 % and 38 % respectively., are remarkably improved comparing with 2 % by existing suspended catalyst reaction. They are now investigating more economical nickel catalyst. When the decalin is utilized for hydrogen storage medium of FCV, the hydrogen storage capacity by weight is 7.3 % and the rate is higher than hydrogen storing alloy and the handling becomes easier because the medium is liquid. Transporting the decalin by tank truck, adsorbed hydrogen from water electrolysis energized by wind mill or others and replacing it by naphthalene discharged hydrogen at FCV gas station, hydrogen supply system for FCV becomes complete renewable energy system.
    (Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, January 11, 2002)

(4) Shinko Pantec Co., Ltd
    Shinko Pantec developed efficient hydrogen generating unit by water electrolysis. The unit consists of 200 micron electrolyte membrane held by titanium electrodes and stacked 20 ~ 50 layers. Supplying pure water to the membrane and energizing, water decomposes to proton, electron and oxygen at anode and proton and electron reacts and generates hydrogen at cathode. Changing titanium electrode from conventional mesh type to smooth surface sheet type, and increasing reaction temperature from 50 to 80 and reducing ohm resistance, the energy efficiency is improved from conventional 60 % to 90 %. They announced that the electricity consumption per generated hydrogen 1 m3 is 4 kWh and total cost including water and maintenance cost is about 70 yen and purity of hydrogen is 99.999 %. There are twelve products having different hydrogen generating capacity ranging from 0.5 to 100 m3 per hour and the price is 20 million yen in case of 10 m3 type.
    Honda Motor Co., Ltd has been carrying out demonstration test of hydrogen station using solar power for FCV which supply hydrogen at low cost from July 2001 in California and they has used the hydrogen generating unit from Shinko Pantec. Both companies will boost jointly the development of FCV by commercializing efficient hydrogen generating unit. Besides of FCV, Shinko Pantec expects another market demand for home use and the sales amount of 2 billion yen in 2002.
    (Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun January 22, 2002)

(5) National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
    Photoreaction Control Research Center of AIST succeeded to decompose water to hydrogen and oxygen completely@by visible ray using "artificial photosynthesis system" which simulates botanical photosynthesis mechanism. This system is very simple technology which just irradiates visible ray to iodine water solution suspended 2 types of oxide semiconductor powder having reactivity by visible ray, to generate hydrogen from water. And this can be expected to be a low cost solar energy conversion technology as well as to be a hydrogen production technology which utilizes renewable energy.
    The Center has conducted research for water decomposition by 2 stage photo-catalyst in R& D activity of reactive catalyst process for visible rays. They succeeded to realize an artificial photosynthesis as the result when titanic acid strontium doped chromium, loaded platinum and tungsten oxide loaded platinum are connected by iodine redox during the above activities.
    (The Chemical Daily January 16, 2002)

(6) Shizuoka University
    Research laboratory of Prof. Takeshi Sako, Shizuoka University and "Japan Electric Cable Technology Center, Inc" which is a cooperative research organization of electric cable manufacturers, succeeded fundamental test of efficient gasification by utilizing high temperature and high pressure super critical water which has strong decomposing power, for organic waste like plastics which the treatment have been considered as difficult or for garbage. With this fundamental test, they reported that they could decompose 80 % of shredder dust of car after recovering valuable metal such as copper roughly, by using super critical water at 700 and 300 atm for a half hour and 1,000 cc hydrogen was yielded from 1 g dust. Containing large volume hydrogen in decomposed gas is also feature of this gasification. Patent application had been made in last autumn and these will be presented at a symposium of The Society of Chemical Engineer to be held in spring, 2002.
    (Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Shizuoka Shimbun, Jan. 31, 2002)

(7) Japan Metal and Chemical Co., Ltd
    Japan Metal and Chemical Co., Ltd signed an agreement for feasibility study toward commercialization of hydrogen supply system for FC, to be conducted jointly with Air Products and Chemical, Inc USA. They aim at realization of hydrogen storage and supply system adopting hydrogen storing alloy which is a strong point of Japan Metal and Chemical Co., Ltd
    (Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Tekko Shimbun January 31, 2002)
 
10. Business of GTL Plants
    EPC business talk on GTL(Gas To Liquid) pant is progressing in Qatar. As the results of technical proposals evaluated at the beginning of December 2001, two groups are leading, who are CHIYODA Corporation - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd and JGC Corporation - Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) - Snamprogetti and the contractor will be selected by bidding in commercial proposal to be held in April, 2002 in earliest case. Also another business is to be scheduled to starts soon in Nigeria.
    GTL is produced from methane in natural gas through Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) synthesis reaction. In case of Qatar project, owners of the plant are Qatar Petroleum and Sasol in South Africa, and the plant size is 34,000 barrel/day. And in case of Nigeria project, the plant size is 34,000 barrel/day, the same size as Qatar, and the owner is Chevron in USA and the Sasol process will be adopted. Besides these projects, 90,000 barrel/day plant is planned by Qatar Petroleum and Exxon-Mobil in Qatar and also other projects are planned in Iran, Egypt, Australia, Alaska and Venezuela.
    (The Chemical Daily January 18, 2002)
 
11. Micro FC for Portable Equipment
    Toshiba Corporation and Hitachi, Ltd developed micro FC one after another for portable products such as note type personal computer and they plan to commercialize them in 2003.
    Toshiba made a trial FC for personal digital assistant (PDA). The maximum power out put is 8 W and 40 hours continuance display is possible by 10 mm litter of methanol fuel and these correspond to 5 times of those for chargeable lithium battery which are now prevailing in market. The thickness of trial product is 25 mm and the weight is 500 g. However, it is seemed that they have prospect to be able to reduce size and weight less than 5 mm and 100 g respectively. Putting them in market in 2003 is scheduled and they are to develop FC for portable phone. On the other hand, FC of Hitachi is portable phone size and is to be applied for note type personal computer. Aiming at commercialization in 2003, they plan to increase continuous working time from 3 hours in chargeable battery to more than 10 hours by fuel cell.
    The feature of both company's FC is to generate hydrogen directly by flowing methanol through special membrane and the fuel is planned as cartridge type to be available at such a convenience store. The price will be equivalent to chargeable battery.
    In the Broad Band (high speed and large capacity) era, it becomes possible to send and receive clear animations which is equivalent to TV and mass data by portable equipment. But there is an issue that is lack of battery capacity as the electric power consumption increase tremendously. The development of portable equipment would be accelerated by being realized micro FC.
    (Nihon Keizai Shimbun January 20, 2002)
 
12. FC Related Technology
    Electronics trading company, Marubun Corporation and NF Corporation jointly developed integrated FC evaluation facility and started to receive order. Controlling and monitoring for various parts, measuring current and voltage characteristics and measuring ohm resistance of membrane are all possible by one personal computer through integrating hardware with software. In a fact, 100 W electronic load control unit is incorporated and pressurizing the unit up to 3 atm and stable controlling of temperature and moisture up to 100 are possible. The price is 8 million yen or more and they expect sales of 100 million yen in 2002 and 400 million yen in 2004.
    (Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun January 7, 2002)
 
13. Company's Activity
(1) Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd
    Sanyo announced that they will proceed with joint developments in next generation technologies which will realize strategic products, cooperating with Samson Co., Ltd, the leading Korean manufacturer and starting joint development of FC for home use and vehicle. Improving investment efficiency and boosting development speed for next generation technology development which require a large amount of investment of several 100 billion yen, they intend to establish cooperative business structure and aim at to be leading alliance in Asia by integrating also the biggest Chinese electric manufacturer Haier Group Company with whom Sanyo is to be allied.
    (Asahi Shimbun January 11, 2002, Mainichi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Tokyo Shimbun, Dempa Shimbun January 12, 2002)

(2) Mitsubishi Corporation
    Mitsubishi, jointly with a subsidiary of the major oil of Royal Dutch Shell Group and Johnson Matthey etc, will establish investment fund limited to FC in March 2002 at London and they will invest the fund to enterprises who have technology for FC or hydrogen related. Finally, the fund will be expanded to 100 million dollar and it will be the biggest FC related fund in the world.
    (Nihon Keizai Shimbun December 28, 2001)
 

-This edition is made up as of FEBRUARY, 2002.-