(1)Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
MLIT decided to carry out demonstration test of FC fueled bio gas generated from excrement of livestock. Civil Engineering Research Institute of Hokkaido, independent administrative institution in Betsukaicho will install test facility in existing recycle test facility for resources and verify stable operation of FC by organic hydride and make research on energy efficiency or CO2reduction effect through a year.
( Denki Shimbun October 2, 2002 )
(2)Ministry of Public Management , Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications
The Ministry announced a policy on October 2, 2002 that they allow existing gasoline service station to be installed hydrogen station by 2004. The purpose is to promote commercialization of FCV.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 3, 2002 )
(3)Agency of Natural Resources and Energy
ANRE intends to start new project on gBasic Technology Development including Safety Usage of Hydrogenh and produces safe and low cost hydrogen and establishes the application technologies from 2003. They request the budget of 4.8 billion yen in 2003 and raise the development subjects via NEDO. Their request for total fuel cell related budget will be 32.2 billion yen in 2003 which is 10 billion yen more than 2002.
( The Chemical Daily October 11, 2002 )
(4)Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
The national government decided gPromotion Program for Special Administration Area on Structural Revolutionh at the 3rd meeting of the promotion head quarter for special area on structural revolution and METI made special treatment report on deregulation for preservation distance of hydrogen station and safety regulation for domestic FC which are regulated by the current high pressure gas safety act and others.
( Denki Shimbun October 15, 2002 )
The Ministry announced on October 28 that they will take the lead to buy FCV which will be put on market from December this year and to introduce hydrogen supply station into the ministerial area. The national government also decided to adopt 2 FCV as official cars from December 2 for the official residence of the prime minister and cabinet office and to hold dedication ceremony to accept the FCV.
( Nihon Kogyo Shimbun October 28, 2002, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 29, 2002 )
(5)New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization
NEDO decided 17 contractors for PEFC developments. The research items are elemental technologies such as electrolyte membrane for high temperature operation and others.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 25, 2002, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 28, 2002 )
(6)New Energy Foundation
NEF announced that they have started gDemonstration Test for Stationary PEFChat Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya which are subsidized project by METI. They will install PEFC cogeneration systems in 12 area over the nation for 3 years starting from 2002 and collect various data under actual operation conditions.
( The Daily Automotive News October 29, 2002 )
2. Policy and Activity in Local Government
Hori, Hokkaido Prefectural Governor reported on October 1, 2002 at the regular meeting of prefectural
assembly that they will establish a committee to study commercialization of FC within this year, to be participated by industries, related organizations and the government. They intend to tackle with FC positively and aim at that Hokkaido will be designated by the national government as model area for FC development.
( Hokkaido Shimbun October 2, 2002 )
Aichi decided a policy to adopt a FCV as official car. The policy indicates that the lease agreement for 30 months will be concluded in early 2003. The monthly sum for the lease would be 1.5-2 million yen.
( Nihon Kogyo Shimbun October 2, 2002, The Daily Automotive News October 3,2002 )
Yamaguchi made a draft report of gPrefectural Vision on Energy Conservationh in which demonstration operation of hydrogen station for FCV is included, making use of by product hydrogen at caustic
soda (sodium hydroxide) factory.
( Chugoku Shimbun October 22, 2002 )
Niigata has established gResearch Committee on Cogeneration and FC in Nigata Prefectureh under cooperation with Niigata University and Nagaoka University of Technology and will hold the first meeting at Nagaoka University of Technology.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 22, 2002 )
3. Technology and Market Development for MCFC
(1)Toyota Motor Corporation
Toyota has developed MCFC cogeneration system (output power:330kW) integrated with micro gas turbine (output power : 40kW), which fuel is
reformatted of town gas, and installed it at Motomachi Environmental Center in the company and started the demonstration test. They intend to commercialize it, aiming at demonstration in Aichi International Exposition to be held in 2005. Basic performances are 370 kW of total output power, 55 % of power generation efficiency and 35 % of CO2 reduction and it can control the output of heat and power by changing the operating conditions of MCFC and gas turbine, responding to the customerfs demand. Various fuel is planned to be used, including synthesis gas produced from bio mass or waste as additional fuel.
( Sankei Shimbun October 12, 2002, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 14, 2002 )
(2)Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.
IHI has made a new power generation system concept which can reduce CO2exhaust by 15 %, by recovering CO2 from exhaust of coal fired thermal power station and applying the CO2 to MCFC. The new system results in CO2 exhaust of 220 T/h by adding MCFC of 90 MW to 910 MW existing thermal power station, although existing coal fired thermal power station exhausts CO2 of 260 T/h (carbon equivalent). 27 T/h of highly concentrated CO2 is recovered from the MCFC and a part of it is used in MCFC itself and the remained CO2 can be stored in deep sea or under ground tunnel used for coal mining.
Therefore, the new system can mitigate CO2 effect to environment. They intend that the performance test will be carried out by small scale plant, receiving governmental subsidy because additional fuel cell plant of 90 MW costs several ten billion yen.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 14, 2002 )
Marubeni made a policy to promote sales of stationary MCFC power plant developed and fabricated by Fuel Cell Energy Inc. in US. FCE will increase the production capacity from current 50 MW/Y to 400 MW/Y in 2004 and decrease the price from current 600,000 yen/kW to 300,000 yen/kW. Marubeni plans to increase the annual sales up to 10 billion yen by decreasing the price of 250 kW, main product down to 100 million yen or below. Marubeni and FCE plan power up for current all three products from 250 kW to 300 kW, from 1000 to 1500 and from 2000 to 3000 by improvement of quality in major parts and want to draw attention from customers by decreasing price per kW.
The fuel is methane gas (natural gas) and the power generation efficiency is 45-60 % and total efficiency including heat recovery is 70-80 %. They already received orders from Toride Factory, Kirin Brewery Co., Ltd. and Sewerage Bureau of Fukuoka City and other 3 more for industrial uses.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 18, 2002 )
4. Development and the Application of SOFC
Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. announced on September 30, 2002 that they started development of 50 kW cogeneration system consisted of planar type SOFC, through scale up from 15 kW already developed under cooperation with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. They intend to fabricate trial product in the first half of 2003 and then will carry out evaluation test toward commercialization. The application is commercial use such as hotel or hospital which has large demand for air conditioning. And the performance targets are power generation efficiency of 45 % and total efficiency of 85 %. The budget for the research and development is 1 billion yen.
( Sankei Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Denki Shimbun October 1, 2002 )
5. Development and Commercialization on PEFC
(1)QM Soft Co., Ltd.
QM Soft (Fukuoka Prefecture) has imported and sold PEFC made in China as trial marketing and now decided to sell them in full scale. Cell maker sited its head office in Beijing has commercialized PEFC with the output from 30kw to 200w and supplied to national laboratories and others and investigated the possibilities to put them on the Japanese market. The price of 200w is about 350,000 yen. When mass-production will be applied, it may become lower than 200,000 yen, the companyfs president said. The company plans to sell 50 units a month, mainly 200w PEFC at present.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun September 30, 2002 )
(2)Japan Storage Battery Co., Ltd.
Japan Storage Battery will begin sample shipping of the PEFC stack from 2003, one year earlier than their original plan, which reduces the quantity of platinum catalyst to 1/10 of that of existing one. The decision was made depending on the confirmation that the deterioration of platinum has hardly happened. Platinum is added directly on the surface of carbon in the stack and the quantity of platinum becomes low to be 0.2 ~ 0.4g/kw.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 1, 2002 )
Hiroshi Kitagawa, assistant professor and others in Tsukuba University found that new polymer composite material having high hydrogen storing ability and high proton conductivity, which was made by arranging rubeanic acid, organic material, around the core of copper ion. He wants to apply this technology to PEFC. The proton conductivity of the new polymer is equivalent to that of Nafion membrane.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 7, 2002 )
(4) Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd.
Mitsubishi Rayon has developed the mass-production technology for Gas Diffusion
Layer (GDL) of PEFC using carbon fiber and the production line has been set in Toyohashi Production Center. The layer is a kind of carbon paper and is made in continuous roll shape using the fiber of polyacrylonitrilo (PAN), and easy handling and low cost have been materialized. New equipment can produce GDL up to 80 cm width.
( The Chemical Daily, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyou Shimbun, Denpa Shimbun, Senken Shimbun
October 8, 2002, Nihon Sen-i Shimbun October 9, 2002, The daily Automotive News October 10, 2002 )
Ballard Power Systems will publish the new space saving model of PEFC at the Canadian Symposium 2002 to be held at Canadian Embassy on October 30. The output of this PEFC is 1.2kw, air cooled, and life time is 1500 ~ 2000 hours. They intend to sell them as a back-up power source for telecommunication companies. As for the back-up power source, installation cost of the conventional 2ndry battery is cheaper than PEFC, but in case taking account into the running cost, the total cost of PEFC is almost the same as conventional one, said John Harris, Vice President. The FC can be utilized for the driving force of folk lift and compact car and auxiliary power source for small motor boat because of its small size and handiness. They will start the field test early 2003 in USA and Canada and will investigate the hydrogen supply system and so on in a year. They also intend to do the same tests with clients in Japan when the contract can be made. In a meantime, FC will be produced at Head Quarter of the company but if the volume of order becomes quite enough, the production will be entrusted to Ebara Corporation, which is a affiliated company. Mr. Harris, Vice President, said that based on these technologies, they will develop the PEFC which has tens of thousands of life time and be able to put home use unit on sale at least within 5 years.
( Denki Shimbun October 30, 2002 )
Ballard Power Systems will develop the PEFC for power source of telecommunication and emergency back-up use with output of 10 ~ 30
kW and will go into market in Japan, USA and Europe, the agent in Japan is Ebara Corporation. These tens
kW type FC are consisted of a few or tens of Nexa Power Module with 1.2 kW each and are integrated as power generating facility.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 31, 2002 )
6. Development and Commercialization of Home Use PEFC
(1)Toho Gas Co., Ltd.
Although Toho Gas has been developing home use PEFC cogeneration system and they made consent with Rinnai Corporation to develop the system which utilize hot water effectively for hot water supply or heating. They intend to commercialize the system in 2005.
( The Chemical Daily October 2,2002 )
(2)Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Matsushita is aiming to put 1 kW PEFC on sale in 2005 and has achieved the present target of power generation efficiency of 32 % at the rated output and then entered into the development stage for commercial product which aims to improve durability and cost reduction by the spring of 2003. Osaka Gas planned to commercialize home use FC in 2005 and will select 2 or 3 candidate makers by June of 2003. Matsushita intends to accelerate the development of the commercial FC in order to be selected by Osaka Gas as one of the makers. As the stack deterioration target in initial stage has been attained, present target has been put to mitigate the voltage decay for
DSS (Daily Start and Stop) operation and 10 units of 1 kW PEFC are to be fabricated in 2002 financial year and to be installed in the real homes and then to be verified their performances. The present target price of one million yen will be investigated and make policy for commercialization of PEFC.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 18, 2002 )
7. The front of FCV
(1) Toyota and Hino
Large scale FC hybrid bus gFCHV-BUS2h, which has been developed by cooperation of Toyota Motor Corporation and Hino Motors, Ltd., is starting public road tests from October as having been certified by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. It was modified type based on FCHV-BUS1 and 4 units were made, carrying 60 people. It loads 2 sets of 90kw FC stack and 4 sets of nickel-metal hydride battery as secondary battery. The driving range in an urban driving mode is announced to be 250kw.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun September 30, 2002 )
Toyota Motor Corporation and Hino Motors, Ltd. had opened the public road tests of FCHV-BUS2 in Tokyo Metropolitan to the press on October 18, 2002. It mounted 5 high pressure hydrogen tanks on the roof. The price, the most important subject, is said more than 10 times at the current stage in comparison with that of a conventional bus of 23 million yen.
( Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun October 19, 2002 )
(2)Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
American Honda had reached basic agreement with Los Angeles city on the sales of FCV. Lease agreement for 5 units of FCX has been concluded and one of them is going to be handed over within this year.
( Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun October 8, 2002 )
Honda Motors published the prototype of FCV hFCXh on October 22, 2002 which will begin to be leased in the domestic market within this year. It was based on FCX-4 and improved its driving range to 350 km and the maximum speed to 150 km/h, and also made some design change.
( Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun October 23, 2002 )
8. Fuel for Fuel Cell, Hydrogen Production and Reforming
(1) Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) decided to develop the fuel cell corresponding to DME(Di-MethylEther) in cooperation with Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. (Osaka Gas) and expected to commercialize as domestic use stationary fuel cell, in fiscal year 2005.
Osaka Gas has developed the technology to produce hydrogen from DME stably, METI subsidized Osaka Gas through Japan National Oil Corporation from October 2002, and decided to perform system design and market research and so on. METI also considers to apply it to FCV. Most of the FCV now under development, uses the hydrogen directly. If liquefied DME becomes applicable, more than three times of hydrogen can be loaded in the same volume, and so hydrogen storage capacity will become extremely large.
DME is clean fuel of gas state under atmospheric temperature and pressure, made from natural gas, however becomes liquid when pressurized higher than 6 atm under atmospheric temperature. And the cost for transportation and harbor facilities can be significantly reduced, comparing to LNG.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun September 30, 2002 )
(2) Chubu Electric Power Co .,Inc. and NORITAKE CO., LTD.
Chubu Electric announced on October 1, 2002, that they succeeded to develop ceramic film with super fine holes which allows only hydrogen molecules to pass. The size of the hole is 0.6-0.7nm corresponding to about the size of two hydrogen molecules, and pure hydrogen can be obtained by passing mixed gas through the ceramics. Since the ceramics can endure high temperature and has enough strength, compactness of hydrogen feed system is expected. A special gas is applied in the process of sintering of ceramic slurry (silicon-nitride), super fine vacancies are formed by being vaporized organic component (methyl) in the slurry.
( Denki Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Chunichi Shimbun October 2, 2002 )
(3) Toho Gas Co., Ltd.
On October 4, 2002, Toho Gas performed completion ceremony of hydrogen supply station for FCV, which has been installed in the research laboratory of Toho Gas. Using this station, hydrogen was fed to FCV during the public road test by TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION. This station is on-site type using steam reforming of town gas, and the capacity of hydrogen production is 40L/h.
( Chunichi Shimbun October 5,2002 )
(4) Hiroshima Prefectural Institute of Science and Technology (HPIST)
HPIST announced that they developed a new catalyst for removing CO by reacting with hydrogen. This has been done by joint research with Prof. Katsuomi Takehira, Hiroshima Univ. and Prof. Kiyoshi Ohtsuka, Tokyo Institute of Technology. The catalyst is a particle of several Ê in diameter and made of Ru added on TiO2. CO is converted into methane by reaction with hydrogen at 250. Even mixed gas of CO and CO2 which the concentration is higher than twenty times of CO, only CO can be removed, and Ni is also effective instead of Ru at temperature higher than 300.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 7, 2002 )
(5) Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.
Tokyo Gas announced on October 11, 2002, they intend to start arrangement of hydrogen service station for prevailing of
FCV. Hydrogen will be available at 32 natural gas stations in Tokyo, and they are also planning to supply hydrogen to domestic FC from fiscal year 2004. It is said that hydrogen will be produced at the gas station by reforming natural gas which is supplied to the station through the pipeline already laid out.
( Yomiuri Shimbun October 12, 2002 )
9. Development of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) and Micro
(1) The University of Tokyo
Professor Sinichi Nakao, Assistant Professor Takeo Yamaguchi and their group of The University of Tokyo, developed new electrolyte membrane, which enable the power output of micro DMFC for PDA by 20% higher. The new membrane is porous polymer made of heat resistant polyethylene and polyimide and so on.The membrane thickness is 20 Êm and the pore is tens of nm in diameter, filled with sulfonic acid polymer. As this membrane restrains crossover, therefore it allows higher power generation. Moreover, cost down is expected, because material cost is low and manufacturing method is simple.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 4, 2002 )
(2) Musashi Institute of Technology
Prof. Masayuki Nagai and his group in Musashi Institute of Technology, developed DMFC stack and achieved power density of 0.25W/cm2 in atmospheric pressure, using special electrolyte membrane, which is a composite of polymer dispersed silica inorganic substance of nm-size particles, such as siloxane or silane. 10nm and 20nm silica inorganic substances are dispersed into vacancies in the polymer. The stack was piled 17 cells of 5cm2 square up, and reached 150W power output at the maximum operating temperature of 84 . They are going to make demonstration test in March 2003, by making electric motor car and installing the several hundred watts stack to be fabricated from now into the car.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 10, 2002 )
(3) Tokyo Metropolitan University
Prof. Kiyoshi Kanemura and et al, Tokyo Metropolitan University, developed the electrolyte membrane which can prolong the life and increase the power of small DMFC for PDA. Porous ceramics with regularly arranged holes filled by conductive polymer membrane, is utilized as the electrolyte membrane. As the ceramics is stiff and not affected by chemicals, and does not swell by absorbing methanol solution, it is expected that the methanol cross over can be reduced to 1/10. Manufactured membrane for trial is porous silica ceramics. The regularly arranged holes are formed on the membrane, by mixing polystyrene particles in silica solution and drying to form membrane, and baking at high temperature to remove the polystyrene particles by burning. Difficulties in the conventional fluorine membrane, which are swelling by adsorbing methanol solution and methanol cross over, can be over come.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 28, 2002 )
(4) Material & Energy Research Institute Tokyo Ltd.
Material & Energy Research Institute Tokyo Ltd. and Kogakuin University developed small FC using liquid fuel which can be carried under normal temperature and pressure. The fuel is hydrogen and boron compound (boron-sodiumhydride) dissolved in alkaline solvent, and FC is fed with the fuel and hydrogen peroxide to generate power. Two type of 10 W and 100 W class have been manufactured, and they plan to commercialize the FC within 3 years for portable apparatus such as note type PC and small electric cars for the aged and the handicapped person. Fuel cost per one hour, about 12 yen for 10 W type and about 120 yen for 100 W type, were reported.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun October 30, 2002 )
(5) Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE)
RITE (Kyoto prefecture), The Kansai Electric Power Co., Ltd., TORAY INDUSTRIES INC., SHARP CORPORATION, HORIBA, LTD, Tokyo University, Kyoto University, etc. start joint development of the next generation energy and environmental apparatus, utilizing bio functions and the contrivances. One of the development subject pointed out is to develop FC for note type PC which can be used for 24 hours. And they target to develop FC fueled with hydrogen generated by bacteria, by enhancing the activity of hydrogen synthesis bacteria inhabited in soil, using gene manipulation technology.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun October 30, 2002 )
10. Instrument and Test Facility for FC
(1) Yokogawa Electric Corporation
Yokogawa Electric Corporation starts marketing of FC test facility. Yokogawa plans to develop test facility which has functions to measure voltage and current chaaracteristics and to market commercial products at less than 5 million yen in 2003.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun September 30, 2002 )
(2) NF Corporation
NF Corporation (Yokohama City), improving the functions of FC evaluation facility, started marketing of FC evaluation system which can evaluate easily the life, decay factor, power generating efficiency, materials, etc., from October 10, 2002. The price is 10 ~ 20 million yen.
( Nihon Kogyo Shimbun October 17, 2002 )
(3) FUJITSU ACCESS LIMITED
FUJITSU ACCESS LIMITED plans to start marketing of the test and evaluation facility within 2002, of which accuracy had been improved sharply, for FCV and FC for vehicles. Also FUJITSU plans to reduce the cost as well as the delivery time to a half by standardizing the product.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 22, 2002 )
(1) N. E. CHEMCAT CORPORATION
N. E. CHEMCAT CORPORATION, precious metal catalyst manufacturer, will conclude technical license agreement with Engelhard Corporation, USA, for development of FC catalyst. Signing within this year,
N.E. CHEMCAT plans to cover all FC electrode catalyst technology combining their metal catalysis technology and non-metal catalysis technology of Engelhard.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 2, 2002 )
(2) Hitachi Powdered Metal Co., Ltd.
Metal Co., Ltd plans to expand the development of nano-carbon material in full
scale and to enter into market of next generation display and FC.
( The Chemical Daily October 11, 2002 )
(3) Shinko Pantec Co., Ltd.
On October 16, 2002, Shinko Pantec Co., Ltd announced that Shinko Pantec started the marketing of high purity hydrogen generating facility for FC system, using electrolysis. The business plans are OEM brand supply and lease and sales amount of 200 million yen in the first year and 1 billion yen in 2005.
( The Chemical Daily October 17, 2002, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun October 21, 2002)