@The government has approved Environmental White Paper in 2004 at the Cabinet council on May 28, 2004. As for the subjects related with economy, society and the world, the paper introduces an estimation that domestic market scale on the environmental business grows up from 29 trillions yen in 2000 to 58 trillions yen in 2020 and appeals that git is important for Japan to input manpower strategicallyh for the work to make international standardization on photo-catalyst and fuel cell.
( The Daily Automotive News May 29, 2004, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun May 31, 2004 )
2. Policy and Activity of Agency of Natural Resources and Energy, METI
@(1) Support for Commercialization of Home Use PEMFC and SOFC
Agency of Natural Resources and Energy made a policy to establish monitor system by top runners for three years for the time being, not to introduce subsidy system to subsidize a half amount level, in order to support the commercialization of domestic use PEMFC and SOFC. The monitor system can be applied to not only individual residences but also condominiums. The system aims at the early commercialization by 100 % subsidy for the top runner. The application would be made as the monitor of pairs consisting of fuel cell manufacturers and the users such as Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., Osaka Gas Co., Ltd., Nippon Oil Corporation and Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. From a hundred to several hundreds are estimated as the first step commercialization scale.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun May 31, 2004 )
(2) A Plan for Research and Development Center
A national project to establish a new company gFCER&D Center (tentative name)h has been studied, who is in charge of development of the base technologies on fuel cell, proposed by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and participated by Toyota Motor Corporation, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. The new company is to be established by the private companies and the development cost will be given by the country. In the early case, the company will be established in spring 2005. METI plans to assign the budget of 10 billions yen in total for five years and requests 2 billions yen in fiscal year 2005 as the first year. The private companies are asked to invest from several hundred millions yen to one billion yen level per one company and about 10 companies will finally participate in the project. The head office of the Center is placed at the facility in Daiba, Tokyo, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the actual research and development will be conducted at plural places including Tsukuba and Kansai, AIST
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 11, 2004 )
(3) Proposal by Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry submitted a draft of interim report gA Prospect for Energy Demand and Supply in 2030h to Demand and Supply Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy on June 16, 2004.
( The Daily Automotive News June 17, 2004 )
Joint committee of Industrial Structure Council and Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy, advisory organ for Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, made up proposals of 10 themes including gRealization of Energy Conservation as the Leading Country in the Worldh. In this proposal, it requires for the nation to indicate concrete political targets and make the best efforts to realize hydrogen energy society by introducing dispersed type energies including fuel cell.
( Mainichi Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun June 17, 2004 )
(4) Vision for the New Energy Industry
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced gVision for New Energy Industryh on June 24, 2004. They intend to arrange the system which connects the power generation enterprises by using wind power or solar cell directly with consumers having interests for environment. And they set up the targets to raise the new energy business as self sustainable industry and expand the new energy market to 3 trillions yen (6 times of the current scale) and enlarge the employment to about 310 thousands men (24 times of the present time) by 2030, by broadening the related industry. Also they intend to raise the ratio of new energy to primary energy from 2.5% in 2000 to 7.7% in 2030. They plan to establish the network to secure stable supply of electric power by meeting the power generation system with the regional requirements and combining with fuel cell or others.
( Asahi Shimbun June 25, 2004 )
3.@Policy and Activity of NEDO
@(1) Open Symposium
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) will hold open symposium gThe Subjects and the Targets on Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technology Developmenth at Sankei Plaza in Otemachi, Tokyo on July 21, 2004. And the technology development subjects and the targets will be discussed at the place opened to the public under many participants of researchers or engineers on the subjects, to be tackled for 5 years from 2005.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, The Chemical Daily June 4, 2004 )
(2) Projects in Aichi International Exposition
NEDO will establish their independent pavilion in Aichi International Exposition and conduct a large scale demonstration operations such as FC and solar cell. As for the FC, 350 kW MCFC made by IHI (Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.) will be operated by Toyota Motor Corporation, to be fueled digester gas generated from garbage of 4.8 T/D in the site and 370 kW MCFC also made by IHI will be operated by Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., to be fueled gasified gas of wooden chips or waste plastics at high temperature. MHI ( Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.) will introduce 50 kW SOFC of tubular type and Toshiba IFC will install 4 PAFC units of 200 kW.
( Yomiuri Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 18, 2004 )
(3) Commitments of SOFC Technology Developments
NEDO decided 6 companies to entrust technology developments or to conduct cooperation research of SOFC system on June 18, 2004. The total budget is 1.6 billion yen and the purpose is to develop small or middle class SOFC system which can put into the market of dispersed power. Adopted subjects are as follows.
1) Development of 20 kW class SOFC cogeneration system to be applied tubular cell with vertical stripes : Hitachi Corporation, ToTo Ltd., Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc.
2) Development of 200 kW class SOFC cogeneration system using planar type cell called MOLB : MHI, Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.
3) Development of 10 kW class SOFC cogeneration system using lanthanum gallate cell to be operated at lower temperature than 800 : The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., Mitsubishi Material Corporation
4) Development of 10 kW class SOFC cogeneration system using anode support tubular cell without inter-connector : Nippon Steel Corporation, Acumentrics Corporation, Japan
5) Development of 350 kW class SOFC system combined with gas turbine, using tubular cell with horizontal stripes : MHI
6) Development of performance evaluation technology for SOFC system : CRIEPI (Central Research Institute of Power Industry), AIST (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology)
4. Policy and Activity in Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
@MLIT starts demonstration test of FC power generation system using hydrogen generated from biomass such as excrement of live stock or sewage, from June under cooperation with Hokkaido University and The Japan Steel Works, Ltd. The total quantity of biomass such as excrement of live stock or food waste is equivalent to 24 million kL of crude oil which is 10 % of total imported. They plan to carry out the demonstration of system technology to transport and store hydrogen safely by making hydrogen reacted as organic chemical compound, using fruits of research conducted by Professor Ichikawa, Catalyst Chemical Research Center, Hokkaido University. The test facility has been completed in Bekkai-cho, Hokkaido.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun June 11, 2004 )
5. Policy and Activity in Local Government
@(1) Osaka Prefecture
Osaka decided to adopt FCV as official car and the delivery and departure ceremony was carried out in front of the prefectural government building. It is gMOVE FCV-K-2h, light FCV developed by Daihatsu Motor Corporation (Ikeda City) and the lease fee seems to be 200 thousands yen per month. Husae Ota, the Governor said that she wants the citizen to utilize it as a chance to deepen their recognition to have to keep clean environment.
( Asahi Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun June 4, 2004, Yomiuri Shimbun June 5, 2004 )
Osaka made open that they ask Toyota to supply FCB (Fuel Cell Bus) for a route. Toyota intends to operate 8 FCB between pavilions in Aichi International Exposition, developed under cooperation with Hino Motors Ltd. The exposition will be held from March to September 2005 and Osaka wants to receive the used FCB after the exposition and operate it as a route bus.
(2) Tokyo Prefecture
Tokyo announced on June 7, 2004 that they stopped operation of FCB (Fuel cell Bus) from June 4, 2004 which has been operated from August 2003, under cooperation with Toyota and Hino. It is a tentative countermeasure because a fault has been found in the metal parts of pressure sensor for high pressure hydrogen tank and the parts maker in the US claimed recall. Toyota will decide the timing of restart after they confirm the actual state of the recall.
( Mainichi Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun June 8, 2004 )
6. PAFC Business
(1) Toho Gas Co., Ltd
Toho Gas overhauled 100 kW out put PAFC which has been operated at Washington Hotel Plaza in Nagoya since 1999 and reached to 40,000 operating hours, and replaced cell stack and reformer system equipments. Cost for these replacements are not disclosed but seems to be 1/5 of the initial cost. The second time 40,000 hours operation has been started to verify long term durability and reliability.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 16, 2004 )
(2) Fuji Electric Advanced Technology Co., Ltd
Fuji Electric Advanced Technology has developed a technology to prolong the life of stack and town gas reformer of PAFC system to 7.5 years which is 1.5 times of conventional life, and commercialize it in October 2005. The maintenance cost can be reduced sharply with this technology.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun June 22, 2004 )
7.@Development and Commercialization of SOFC
@Sumitomo Corporation, Nippon Steel Corporation and Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd agreed to develop jointly small scale commercial system of tubular type SOFC, of which cell is developed by Acumetrics Corporation in America. Acumetrics, Sumitomo and Nippon Steel jointly establish gAcumetrics Japanh for the domestic marketing. As the operating temperature is as low as 800 , the start up time of this SOFC is so short as 10 ~ 15 minutes. Also partial load operation down to 20 % is possible, marketing of 5 and 10 kW model for convenience stores and condominiums starts in 2005, and 100 kW model for hotels is planed to be put into market from 2006. Performance evaluation test of 5 kW model will start in this June at Yahata Steel Works and the demonstration test will be conducted successively. Though more than 20 units of 2 and 5 kW model have been delivered in the US, modified model for natural gas and LPG will be sold for limited market in Japan. Increasing the ratio of domestic production by procuring 2/3 of components and material from domestic makers within 3 years, such as ceramic electrolyte, heat exchanger and inverter, they plan to improve quality and respond to the requirements for the quick parts replacements. They plan to realize the cost of 200,000 yen/kW level around 2008 ~ 2010.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Nikkan kogyo Shimbun June 2, 2004 )
8. Demonstration Test and Business Development of Stationary Type PEMFC System
@(1) Nihon Pall Ltd.
Nihon Pall decided the policy to develop a removing module for impurities which deteriorates performances of reformer and cell stack, and to commercialize it for domestic use PEMFC market after 2005, by utilizing their technologies such as membrane production and processing technology for membrane surface, application of adsorbing material and cartridge technology and fluid control technology. To be concrete, these are the fuel gas desulfurizing module, the removing module for NOx, SOx and organics contained in intake gas to the cell stack, the re-circulation and re-using module to remove ions such as fluorine, carbonate and metal dissolved in water used for reforming or water generated in cell.
( The Chemical Daily June 15, 2004 )
(2) Kuzumaki Co-Generation System Research Association Utilizing Bio Gas Efficiently
Kuzumaki Co-Generation System Research Association Utilizing Bio Gas Efficiently whose representative is Professor Noike, Tohoku University and participants are Kuzumaki-Cho Development Corporation for Rancher, Shimizu Corporation, Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd, etc, announced on June 21, 2004 that they succeeded power generation test of PEMFC plant utilizing bio gas, carried out at Kuzumaki-Cho, Iwate Prefecture. Based on the test results, full scale operation test will be started. This plant generates about 1 kW power, by fermenting excreta of cattle and generating 19 cubic meter bio gas per day and feeding the gas to FC after cleaned up and concentrated.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 22, 2004, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun June 23, 2004)
9. Deep Sea Vehicle Driven by FC
@Japan Marine Science and Technology Center (JAMSTEC) announced on June 22, 2004 that the remotely operated deep sea vehicle gUrashimah which is driven by PEMFC achieved 43 hours, 220 km continuous autonomous cruising at 800 m depth. Improving it to practical level within 2005, 300 km cruising will be challenged. gUrashimah is developed to investigate topography of sea bed and ice in arctic sea and it can dive to 3,500 m depth and is maneuvered autonomously by using on board computer.
( Yomiuri Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, June 23, 2004 )
10. Plan and Business for Hydrogen Supply Station
@(1) Taiyo Oil Co.,Ltd.
Taiyo Oil Co., Ltd. started a study to enter into the hydrogen energy business. They will examine the possibility of not only the hydrogen station for FCV by oil reforming but also the cogeneration business for home, utilizing the station as a starting point. The concrete business is that they install fuel cell of 10 kW or larger at the station and supply the electric power and the heat to the surrounding area.
( Denki Shimbun June 3, 2004 )
(2) Babcock Hitachi K.K.
Babcock Hitachi K.K. established a transportable hydrogen station for FCV in Ome City. It is composed of two trucks, natural gas reformer and the hydrogen refining facility are loaded on the one and hydrogen compressor and filling unit are loaded on the other. And it can supply hydrogen anywhere. Nippon Sanso Corporation is in charge of the compressor and the filling unit and the hydrogen production capacity is 30 m3/h.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 21, 2004 )
(3) Iwatani International Corporation
Iwatani International Corporation has manufactured a career car equipped with movable simplified hydrogen filling facility specialized for FCV and opened it to the public on June 21, 2004 at the hydrogen station in Ariake. Ten tons track has been modified and the total length is 11.3 m. And container storing FCV and the movable simplified hydrogen filling facility with 12 hydrogen gas cylinders are loaded on the bed. The development cost is 44 million yen.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun , Sankei Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 22, 2004 )
(4) Toho Gas Co.,Ltd., Nippon Steel Corporation and Nippon Sanso Corporation
Toho Gas Co., Ltd., Nippon Steel Corporation and Nippon Sanso Corporation announced on June 21, 2004 that "The hydrogen supply station for FCB (Fuel Cell Bus) will be constructed at the Seto site of the Aichi International Exposition beginning from March, 2005". It consists of two systems. Toho Gas and Nippon Sanso are in charge of the system using city gas as raw material. And Nippon Steel Corporation is in charge of the system utilizing their by-product gas generated at the process making coke. Both systems have the supply capacity of 100 kg/day and the filling time of the hydrogen is announced within ten minutes per one vehicle. They are to be completed in January, 2005.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Chunichi Shimbun, Tokyo Shimbun June 22, 2004, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun June 23, 2004 )
11. Development and Demonstration of Hydrogen Production and Reforming Technology
@(1) National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and others
Hara, Chief Researcher, Environmental Chemical Technology, AIST will start the demonstration test as the group participated by Mitsubishi Kakoki Kaisha, Ltd., Mitsubishi Materials Corporation and Japan Research and Development Center for Metals. The purpose is to establish hydrogen production system using amorphous alloy membrane made of zirconium and nickel as ratio of 36:64 by the end of fiscal year 2004. They made already a ribbon state membrane of 50 mm in width and 30 m in length by using a liquid quenching method and confirmed already that hydrogen can be separated from the mixed gas. As for the penetration ability of hydrogen, amorphous alloy is 1/5 – 1/10 in comparison with palladium, however, it is stable without making the crystal even if it is kept in atmospheric pressure of 250 for a long time and it has a feature to be able to respond to high-pressure hydrogen of eight atm. The system is assumed to apply for home use fuel cell to supply hydrogen.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 1, 2004 )
(2) Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc.
Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. announced on June 8, 2004 that they have developed a new catalyst which could improve the hydrogen production efficiency by making CO react with steam efficiently. The hydrogen production cost is expected to be able to reduce 2-3% at the maximum. Although major components of the catalyst used so far are copper and zinc, however, they found that the reaction speed become faster in case plural metals are used in place of zinc and the same performance is obtained even by smaller amount of the catalyst from 1/2 to 2/3. The catalyst has higher heat resistance and catalyst cost can be decreased because the replacement time is decreased although the manufacturing cost itself is almost the same as current catalyst.
( Denki Shimbun June 9, 2004, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 11, 2004 )
(3) Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute
Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (Oarai Laboratory) announced on June 24, 2004 that they have confirmed the safety of High Temperature Gas Reactor (HTGR, 30,000kWth) when continuously operated at 950, making research for hydrogen production technology. The full scale research to generate hydrogen efficiently will be done by using pyrolysis of water in the future.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun June 25, 2004 )
12. Compression and Storage Technologies on High Pressure Gas
(1) KAJI TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
Compressor fabricator, KAJI TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION (Mihara Machi, Osaka Prefecture) developed the unit which can compress up to 1,100 atm. at the maximum. This unit will be installed at safety evaluation facility of Japan Automobile Research Institute (Johoku Machi, Ibaraki Prefecture).
( Sankei Shimbun June 13, 2004 )
(2) Kobe Steel, Ltd.
Kobe Steel Ltd. has received U3 certification from ASME which is a quality control program for super high pressure vessel. In the most State in the US, acquisition of certification for U code is obligated to install pressure vessel at US factory. Utilizing this opportunity, they will act positively to receive orders of iso-static press (IP) units from overseas customers. ASME U3 is a certification for pressure vessels higher than 700 atm, and situated at the highest position in U code and strict quality controls are required for design, fabrication and performance test.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 24, 2004 )
13. Detection Technologies for Hydrogen Gas Leakage and Flame
SIKOKU RESEARCH INSTITUTE INC. (Takamatsu City) announced that they developed the unit making hydrogen visible. They succeeded to obtain the clear image of hydrogen flame and gas, by combining ultraviolet ray camera and infrared ray camera with laser beam. As the position could be confirmed with eyes by displaying them on the monitor, the location of hydrogen flame and hydrogen gas leakage could be specified safely and surely from remote place. It can be used as safety devices for FC system and hydrogen station. In case of the conventional detector, decision of the positions for ignition or leakage were difficult and the one of the problems are many errors.
( Denki Shimbun June 25, 2004 )
14. Development and Commercialization of Micro FC (MFC)
@(1) VB Originated from MURORAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
VB (Venture Business) originated from MURORAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, gHydrodeviceh (President: Masao Watanabe, Guest Professor) has been established on June 1, 2004. Working principle of their FC is that at the first water is put on 20-50Êm streaked aluminum fine particles and hydrogen is produced by combining oxygen in the water with aluminum and then power is produced by reacting with oxygen in the air with the particular gel electrolyte membrane. It works at room temperature of 20 and the power production can be restarted by charging water and aluminum in case the reaction stopped. The company already has succeeded the development of 4 W unit and 20W unit has been developed now. In spring 2005 at the earliest case, 700-800 g light weight FC will be sold at price of nearly 40 thousands yen.
( Hokkaido Shimbun June 2, 2004)
NTT-Advanced Technology (NTT-AT) and its subsidiary developed a fluorocarbon sheets (PTFE membrane) being regularly processed approximately 1Êm uniform micro pores. To be detail, uniform micro pores of which shape, size and pore density are controlled, are formed on 10Êm thickness thin membrane by applying semiconductor fine processing technology and using X ray partly. This is expected to be useful for making an electrolyte membrane for DMFC.
( Denpa Shimbun, The Chemical Daily June 11, 2004 )
(3) ALPS ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
ALPS ELECTRIC CO., LTD. has developed various kinds of sensors and main control devices for DMFC such as micro pump which supply hydrogen and liquid valve etc. On the sensors, they have already developed data monitoring sensor which controls supply of hydrogen and oxygen and the chemical reaction, liquid surface level sensor to monitor methanol level, tilt sensor and concentration sensor for hydrogen and methanol etc. They aim at commercialization for mobile FC.
( The Chemical Daily June 22, 2004 )
(4) Toshiba Corporation
Toshiba Corporation announced on June 24, 2004 that they developed the thumb size ultra small DMFC for small electronic devices. The size is 56 mm length, 22 mm width, 4.5-9.1 mm thickness and the weight is 8.5 g and the power output is 100 mW. They employed passive type for fuel circulation which is suitable for small size and realized the down sizing by optimizing the electrolyte membrane and also making the catalyst placed in the electrode finer. It can operate mobile music player for 20 hours at the longest with 2 mL high purity methanol fuel. They will raise the power output to 2 W 2 years later as target and aim at commercialization in 2007.
( Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 25, 2004 )
15. Introduction of FC Related Measuring Technologies and the Product
CHINO Corporation will put the methanol density meter on market from June 1, 2004. It consists of detector, measuring cell, optical fiver and connecting cable and the principle is that density is calculated by catching the amount of light absorbed and damped by methanol, using sensor, which infrared ray is irradiated to the methanol solution passing through the measuring cell. The price for a set is from 2.25 million yen.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 1, 2004 )