@(1) Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport made up gAn Environmental Action Planh formally. In relation to automobile, strengthening regulations on the mileage, the promotion of idling stop, the developments of FCV and the next generation low emission vehicles are included in the plan.
( The Daily Automotive News June 30, 2004 )
(2) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry examines how to support researches and launches their way of thinking for selection and priority which they put the weight to support as the strategically important field and boldly cut the support to the region the fruits would not be expected. After selecting the important items such as fuel cell, robot and regenerative medical treatment and so on, they make each road map toward the commercialization and clarify the necessary supporting plan. As the place to make the road maps, gResearch and Development Subcommitteeh, Industrial Science and Technology Policy Committee, Industrial Structure Council will be held again on July 7, 2004.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun July 6, 2004 )
Agency of Natural Resources and Energy establishes a supporting plan for the system to introduce new energies, utilizing the small scale micro-grid in fiscal year 2005. The supporting plan is to assist the system unitizing demands and supplies, by combining wind power, solar cell, biomass, natural gas cogeneration system, fuel cell and battery, to cover the grid of several 10 kW for the specified region including public housing compounds.
( Denki Shimbun July 7, 2004 )
Agency of Natural Resources and Industry will conduct the demonstration test to study the possibility if oil refineries can be hydrogen supply base or not from fiscal year 2005. The oil refineries produce a large quantity of hydrogen at high purity and high pressure as byproducts and they are expected as a role of infrastructure to supply hydrogen. Agency of Natural Resources and Industry intends to select the one or two oil refineries for the test and to establish the efficient storage and transportation means and also they expect to acquire the prospect for the economy. Several hundred million yen are estimated as the budget of fiscal year 2005. Byproduct hydrogen has an advantages that
CO2 is not exhausted during the production and large quantities of high quality hydrogen can be obtained but it is not established yet the efficient storage and transportation system to consumers. Supply capacity of byproduct hydrogen is estimated as 820 thousands ton in total and 240 thousands ton are estimated from oil refineries, according to the trial calculation.
( The Chemical Daily July 9, 2004 )
(3) New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
NEDO will conduct the second public announcement to collect proposals for promotion project to introduce new energies into local area in fiscal year 2004.
( Denpa Shimbun July 19, 2004 )
NEDO starts a basic study of decay analysis for PEMFC this autumn. The study is a basic research and development to make clear the states of electrode catalyst, electrolyte membrane and separator and to establish an evaluation technology to make clear the decay mechanisms for long term, by analysis of phenomena through the continuous test operation for a given period of time. The team to be selected is only one group under vertical cooperation between stack-manufacturer, town gas company, oil company, university and the national research institute, and the committed budget is five hundred million yen for one year operation. Also in fiscal year 2005, NEDO intends to establish a research and development organization to mainly conduct the basic research and development of fuel cell and the accelerated durability tests.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun July 23, 2004 )
2.Policy and Activity in Local Government
@(1) Civil Engineering Research Institute of Hokkaido
A verification test of the plant which extracts hydrogen from biogas produced by fermentation of excreta of cattle, and stores and supplies it to fuel cell, starts at Bekkai-cho town in Hokkaido from the end of July as the project of Civil Engineering Research Institute of Hokkaido. Collecting data for one year, they investigate the subjects for energy self-sufficiency system in dairy farm regions and construction of hydrogen society. They have constructed the plant by the cost of 1.3 billion yen in adjacent area, based on the new technology proposed by Professor Ichikawa, Catalyst Cemical Research Center, Hokkaido University. The technologies to be verified are the process to produce hydrogen from methane using catalyst including zeolite, to store the hydrogen once into the organic hydride (liquid) and to supply the hydrogen to 10 PEMFC of 0.85kW class and the output is used as electric source of the facility. Production and storage capacities of hydrogen of
120m3 per day are planned.
( Tokyo Shimbun July 10, 2004, Hokkaido Shimbun July 6, 2004 )
3.Development and Production of SOFC
(1) Japan Fine Ceramics Center ( JFCC )
JFCC developed an anode (fuel electrode) made of fine particles in several tens nm. When nickel and oxide ion conducting material are reduced into metals by using special equipment, nm level fine structures can be made. As the number of spots where substances react each other among themselves, can be innumerably increased by the nano structure, the power generation efficiency can be increased and the operation temperature can be reduced to 800. Through this technology, comparatively cheap materials such as alloys can be used and the cost reduction is expected at the manufacturing stage.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun July 5, 2004 )
(2) Toho Gas Co., Ltd. and Nippon Shokubai Co., Ltd.
Toho Gas and Nippon Shokubai starts to produce a single cell of SOFC with high power generation performance for cogeneration system within 2004, developed by themselve. Both companies started the joint research of SOFC three years ago and have developed the manufacturing technology of single cell by combining the technologies for electrolyte materials owned by Toho Gas and a mass production technology for material owned by Nippon Shokubai. They have adopted ceramics with high strength and conductivity for electrolyte material as their concrete approach and they resolved the weak point that the ceramics is easily cracked. They intend to commercialize it in 2008 as the target year.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun June 14, 2004 )
(3) Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
MHI clarified their policy that they will commercialize 50 kW MOLB type SOFC cogeneration system which has been jointly developed with Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. and put it on market in 2004. Two demonstration units of 50 kW SOFC system will be introduced in Aichi International Exhibition. The one will be practical application for Electric Power Pavilion and the other will be introduced as gNew Energy Demonstration Test Project as Local Energy Centerh by NEDO. MHI will develop 200 kW class system by 2007 under cooperation with Chubu Electric. MHI forecasts that the cost can be reduced down to around 500,000 yen/kW according to the expansion of the market by 2008 – 2009 although it will be several hundreds million yen for 50 kW at the initial stage of the commercialization.
And basic technology development for 350 kW class system combined with micro gas turbine, has been entrusted from NEDO to MHI as cooperation development with Electric Power Development Co., Ltd., for which lateral striped SOFC will be applied. They have succeeded the operation of pressurized 10 kW class module for 7,000 hours in 1998 and also succeeded continuous operation of 10 kW class of pressurized internal reforming for 755 hours. They intend to commercialize 20,000 – 50,000 kW system combined with high efficiency gas turbine in 2010, based on the above experiences. They also announced that they will realize a large thermal power station of 700,000 kW class SOFC system in 2015, which is a triple combined cycle by using SOFC, gas turbine and steam turbine.
( Denki Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun July 15, 2004 )
4.Developments of Elemental Technologies for PEMFC
(1) Okayama University
Assistant Professor Takaguchi et al., Okayama University have developed Fullero- Dendrimer, compound material which fullurene is surrounded by a polymer called as Dendrimer to be used for catalyst or organic EL element. They expect that it can expand the possibility of material development because it has characteristics to mix easily with various materials such as water and organic materials. In case Fullero- Dendrimer mixed with FC electrolyte membrane, reactivity between hydrogen and oxygen could be improved.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun July 5, 2004 )
(2) Tokyo Institute of Technology
Professor Tanioka, Tokyo Institute of Technology confirmed that generated power has been increased 5 % by using mixed gas of 70 % hydrogen and 30% oxygen, in comparison with pure hydrogen. In case of gasses generated by electrolysis, giving mechanical vibration of 30 – 50 Hz to potassium hydro-oxide solution, a part of the hydrogen and oxygen are atomic states being cut the connection as molecular. As the mixed gas is 70 % hydrogen, generally the power generation should be decreased. The professor talks that the reason has been under study in detail, why the power generation has been increased 5 %.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun July 5, 2004 )
(3) Mie University
Professor Shuhei Nakamura and his group, School of Technology, Mie University developed low cost separator for PEMFC using thermoplastic material. In case of thermoplastics, compression forming can be applied for the production, therefore, it can be supplied at 1/10 in price in comparison with glassy separator, compound material of phenol resin and graphite. Developed separator is 20 cm square and they forecast the price would be 400 yen/piece in case of mass production of 200,000 pieces/year. The power generation efficiency would not be decreased because the contact resistance at 75 becomes small because of the superior elasticity and flexibility of thermoplastics resulted in close contact with electrode although the electric resistance is higher than conventional. Kureha Elastomer Co., Ltd., joint developer (Osaka City) aims at mass production in the early stage.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun July 12, 2004 )
(4) Tokyo University
Cooperation research group including Tokyo University, NEC Corporation and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have developed a process to contain metal atoms into carbon nano-tube. This is the fruit to open up the way to develop electrode material for FC and it is reported to USA Academy Bulletine.
( Sankei Shimbun July 19, 2004 )@
5.Development and Demonstration of PEMFC Cogeneration System for Home Use
(1) Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.
Idemitsu announced on June 25, 2004 that they developed 1 kW PEMFC cogeneration system for domestic use, using kerosene on market. It has been completed by using high performance and long life catalysts for desulfurization and reforming developed by Idemitsu and integrating PEMFC stack and hot water tank, and they will conduct test operation for a year from July in their Research Institute. They intend to put it on market as monitor sales in the spring 2007 through the test sales in 2006. The size of the PEMFC is 1 m in width, 30 cm in depth and 1 m in height. Although the net efficiency is 30% and the total thermal efficiency is 60% including heat recovery, they will improve them to 32% and 70% respectively.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 28, 2004, Denki Shimbun July 1, 2004 )
Idemitsu succeeded continuous operation for 4,000 hours which remove sulfur from 50 ppm contained in LPG to lower than 0.05 ppm by using nickel catalyst. They have realized reforming operation for 36,000 hours using ruthenium catalyst. They intend to participate into the national large scale monitor project of PEMFC for home use by cooperating with stack maker from 2005.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun July 20, 2004 )
(2) Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.
Tokyo Gas clarified they will start sales of PEMFC cogeneration system for home use as lease style, to be applied for independent house having floor area of 120 – 150
m2. They will study on discount of gas charge for users adopted the system. They are proposing lease style including both equipment and maintenance as a set, because there might be some troubles at the initial stage. They will limit the market only for the large scale independent house, because large scale is important factor to operate the unit efficiently. They aim at stopping all electrified house proposed positively by Tokyo Electric Power Company and making their customers recognize clearly the advantages of FC cogeneration system using town gas in the future.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun July 2, 2004 )
(3) Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Hiroshima Gas Co., Ltd.
3 organizations such as Hiroshima Research Institute of MHI, Hiroshima Gas and Hiroshima University in Hiroshima City have been conducting research and development to establish PEMFC cogeneration system to be applied for condominium or apartment house. They completed a trial calculation which the initial investment can be reduced 40% by using only one reformer for all. The weight of the reformer cost is 1/5 for PEMFC system, therefore, 1/5 cost can be reduced by unitizing the reformer and 1/4 cost by unitizing control equipments coordinating the operation of reformer and FC stack. Auto-thermal process has been adopted, making internal heat generation by adding oxygen with methane and steam, instead of conventional steam reforming process by heating mixed gas of methane and steam. The catalyst for auto-thermal reforming has been developed by Hiroshima University and Toda Kogyo Corporation. It is not approved to supply the reformed gas to each home in condominium by law, therefore, the demonstration test is not planned at this stage.
( Denki Shimbun July 7, 2004 )
6.Development and Commercialization of PEMFC System
(1) Ballard Power Systems Inc.
Ballade Power Systems Inc. developed 4kW class PEMFC system for the emergency power supply during power failure. As for the system, the start up time is about one minute by the method to supply the hydrogen directly from the tank and long-term power supply is possible. It is a structure to build up five 1kW class PEMFC stacks. It has a capability to respond quickly to the power failure and the voltage control is also possible to be able to supply power to telecommunication equipment. And Ebara Ballard has a plan for verification test domestically because markets at broadcasting station, base station for telecommunication and computer center, etc. can be expected. The auxiliary power supply unit which supplies the electric power during start up, has been down sized though it reaches the maximum power within a minute. Moreover, although this company used to describe that the maintenance is necessary every 3-6 months, the time can be saved in this case because the easy start-up test and the confirmation of the fuel tank are enough.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun July 2, 2004 )
(2) Palcan Fuel Cells Ltd
Palcan Fuel Cells Ltd of Canada developed the PEMFC stack and the hydrogen cylinder for emergency power supply (UPS=Uninterruptible Power Supply) for the telecommunication companies etc. And they started the research for Japanese enterprise who undertakes the assembly through Nagase & Company, Ltd. of their business partner. Newly developed UPS "Palpac 500" is the maximum output of 500W, continuous operating time of five hours and the size is 53 cm in length, 47cm in width and 50cm in height. And there is a drawer below the battery and six hydrogen cylinders can be contained. One of the features is cheap cylinder which is used five kinds of metals including nickel for the raw material and moreover, it is produced in the Chinese factory. These results in the low cost of 1/4, 150 US dollars per one cylinder, in comparison with the other companies products.
( Denki Shimbun July 7, 2004 )
7.The Front of FCV
(1) Ballard Power Systems Inc.
Ballade Power Systems Inc. of Canada agreed with JARI that they offer JARI FC stack and the related technologies and JARI uses them for the evaluation and the test of FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle). It is paid attention that this company has changed their strategy from black box policy for their technology in the past to the release of the technology.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 30, 2004 )
(2) Nissan Motor Co.,Ltd
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd has developed PEMFC for FCV independently and will commercialize FCV by fiscal year 2007. The development and the production center specialized for FCV will be newly opened at Oppama General Research Institute in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture. About 50 to 70 billion yen will be invested from fiscal year 2004 to 2008 for the development of the PEMFC stack and the vehicle.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun July 3, 2004 )
(3) Development of 700 atm Hydrogen Gas Cylinder for FCV
The consortium called "Hydrogen 700", consisted of six large automobile companies who are Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Daimler Chrysler, Peugeot Citroen and Hyundai, and Power Tec (Canada) and JFE containers (Itami City), decided the specifications for all parts and the supply maker for the hydrogen fuel system for FCV equipped with 700 atm gas cylinder. As the result, the international standard in the fuel supply part for FCV with 700 atm will be established practically. This consortium has evaluated qualities for all the nine parts for 2 years, such as 700 atm hydrogen gas cylinder, various valves, connectors and filters. And they decided the manufacturers and the parts which are suitable for application to their FCV. As for the storing cylinder, three kinds of the materials have been evaluated, such as laminated material of FRP with aluminum liner, laminated material of FRP with stainless steel liner and all composite material and four companies participated in this evaluation.
The automobile makers consisted of six companies as members can exclusively use the research data for two years from now. Though safety of hydrogen is the biggest issue to have to take care and they put the highest weight for verification of the safety of high pressure hydrogen. And they verified that the hydrogen-fueled car is far excellent in safety in comparison with gasoline car or natural gas vehicle and there is no explosion even in case of accident of collision.
( Denki Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun July 5, 2004 )
(4) Nippon Chemi-Con Corporation
Nippon Chemi-Con Corp. started development of the small size and large capacity Electric Double-Layer Capacitors (EDLC) for hybrid car and FCV. They will develop the capacitor with 50 % reduction in size by down sizing of the product and improving the electrostatic capacity and put it on market in 2006.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun July 16, 2004 )
8.Development of FC Wheelchair
Kurimoto Ltd. developed "FC wheelchair" driven with PEMFC. This wheelchair has been jointly developed with FC system manufacturer, Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies, Ltd (APFCT) in Taiwan who concluded the agreement in 2003, and the weight is about 60 kg, about 1 meter in height and 0.5 meter or more in width. It is announced that is 4 wheels car, the front wheels are eight inches and rear wheels are 12 inches in the diameter, and the maximum loading capacity is 100kg. PEMFC of the output 250W is stored under the seat and three cylindrical hydrogen storing alloy gas cylinders are installed beneath the fuel cell. As the result, the stability of the wheelchair can be improved by lowering the center of gravity. The maximum speed of the FC wheelchair is 6 km/h and the continuous running longer than six hours is possible by filling hydrogen up. Lightening the FC system and making the system efficient have been advanced and the continuous operation will be extended by ten hours or more and it will be commercialized in fiscal year 2005. This company has been developing small cars such as a silver car and a delivery scooter besides the wheelchair and plans these sales of about 8 billion yen in fiscal year 2010. Osaka FCV Promotion Conference opened the exhibition and the trial-ride fair of the wheelchair and the mini-bike developed by this company at the parking lot in front of Osaka Prefectural Government Office on July 13, 2004.
( Fuji Sankei Business Eye June 28, 2004, Sankei Shimbun July 13, 2004, Mainichi Shimbun, Tokyo Shimbun July 14, 2004 )
9.Reforming and Hydrogen Production Technologies
(1) Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute
Working group for Interim report of High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR) held the second meeting on June 24, 2004 and examined how to proceed with the test and research in the near future on high temperature engineering and Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute made an announcement at the meeting that they will aim at establishment of commercial hydrogen production technology with 80 thousands
Nm3/h (approximately 700 million Nm3/year) by using 600 thousands kW thermal output of High Temperature Gas Reactor around 2025. They will confirm the safety and establish the operation technology of HTTR and also confirm control technologies of IS Pilot and engineering materials and conduct technology development for integration of the reactor and the hydrogen production system by 2010. From 2010 to 2015 they will confirm the performance of integrated system of HTTR and hydrogen production, by connecting IS Plant to HTTR, which hydrogen production capacity is
1000Nm3/h. From 2015, they will start the design of 600 thousands kW heat output for commercial use and make commercial hydrogen production possible in 2025.
( Atomic Journal July 1, 2004 )
(2) Mitsubishi Corporation
Mitsubishi Corporation established a new company gH3 Energy Co., Ltd.h in Vancouver, Canada, who they separated the hydrogen production group from head office. The capital is 14 million Canadian dollars and invested 100 % solely by MC. They are planning to make the core for strategic alliance, raising funds from domestic and overseas companies such as automobile manufactures, electric utilities, oil companies, and venture capitals etc. They will transfer patents, trademark of the unit to the new company, which is able to produce high pressure hydrogen without a compressor. Mr. Tojima, Manager in charge of FC and Hydrogen, Energy Business Group, became the president and CEO, and Mr. Harada, inventor of the hydrogen production unit, became the vice president in charge of technology. The new company will develop the unit which produces 400 atm high pressure hydrogen by the end of 2005, and sell it in USA and Europe. And aim at annual sales of 4-5 billion yen by 2010.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun July 1, 2004 )
(3) Tokyo Institute of Technology
The research group including Professor Otsuka, Tokyo Institute of Technology and TOHO Gas Co., Ltd. developed a new process to produce hydrogen from town gas. The new process is that at the first methane in town gas and powder of iron oxide are reacted in a vessel at around 650 and changed them to iron powder and carbon dioxide. The produced iron powder is transferred to another vessel and supplied steam into the vessel so that hydrogen and iron oxide are produced by the reaction. Accordingly hydrogen is produced by the above and the iron oxide is reused. Energy cost is less because hydrogen is produced at a lower temperature, and it is safe and the management is easy because it can be stored as iron powder. The iron powder is nm class fine particle and easy to react.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun July 7, 2004 )
(4) National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology announced on July 14, 2004 that they completed the 2 stage fermentation test plant to recover hydrogen and methane with high efficiency from organic waste like garbage and started the demonstration test. The process is characterized that the conventional methane fermentation process is divided into 2 stages, solubilization-hydrogen fermentation tank and methane fermentation tank, and the hydrogen fermentation is promoted with complex system microbes (microflora) and hydrogen and methane are recovered separately. They expect that the processing time is 15 days, reduced 10 days and the dissolving rate of organic matter can be increased to 80%, 15% up in comparison with conventional process. It has been constructed in Tsukuba Center, AIST in collaboration with Nishihara Environment Technology Inc., Ebara Corporation, KAJIMA CORPORATION and Japan Bio-industry Association. They aim at energy recovery rate of 55% or higher. In case of this demonstration unit, capacity of solubilization-hydrogen fermentation tank is
1m3 and of methane fermentation tank is 0.4m3. This is nearly 1/100 of real size and it can produce hydrogen gas of
1m3/day and methane gas of 10m3/day.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, The Chemical Daily July 15, 2004 )
(5) Hagio High Pressure Vessel Co., Ltd.
Hagio High Pressure Vessel Co., Ltd. (Ehime Prefecture) developed simplified desulfurizing unit which sulfur compound in LPG cylinder can be less than approximately 1/20 by a cheap catalyst system integrated with cylinder. They say that the catalyst has a capability to remove sulfur for 150 kg LPG, 3 of 50 kg cylinder. They are considering that, they will improve the capability of the catalyst system to respond to the density change of sulfur compound from now on and intend to develop the system finally which can reduce sulfur to several ppm and the gas can be sent to the reformer directly as sulfur compound density in gas in the cylinder is increased according to the decrease of the gas remained in a cylinder.
( The Chemical Daily July 22, 2004 )
10.Development of Hydrogen Transportation and Storage Technologies
(1) Tohoku University
Research group of Assistant Professor Orimo, Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University found that a new material has an ability to store 9% hydrogen in weight, which the new material is made as follows, magnesium-amide combined magnesium and amino group and lithium hydrogen compound are synthesized in the proportion of 1 to 4. This figure exceeds the target of IEA. The new material releases hydrogen at 130 and ammonium production is restrained and also the stability is improved sharply, compared with conventional hydrogen storing alloy. The research group tells that they would like the peak of hydrogen release to be lower than 100 in the near future, by using another metal catalyst or other way.
( Kahoku Shimbun June 29, 2004 )
(2) Samtec Co., Ltd.
Samtec Co., Ltd. (Osaka Prefecture) and their 100% subsidiary Samtec International (SII) in the USA fabricated the prototype super high pressure hydrogen storage vessel which can be applied to 70 MPa as the maximum charge pressure. And they realized effective hydrogen weight percent of 6.0 % or more by the vessel which carbon fiber and one of the super fiber, Zylon are wound on the liner formed from high strength aluminum material and it is designed to be applied uniform internal pressure to the vessel. Technology of NASA in USA is adopted. The vessel passed the tests equivalent to 70 MPa of American High Pressure Vessel Code, NGV2-2000, on safety, rupture, cycle and dropping test.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun July 20, 2004 )
(3) Nippon Sanso Corporation
Nippon Sanso Corporation and JFE CONTAINER Co., Ltd. will collaboratively develop hydrogen transportation and storage tank for FCV. The purpose is to promote utilization of byproduct hydrogen produced at iron and steel works or petrochemical plants etc. and their own hydrogen supply facility will be extended. The tank is 300 L in capacity, made of FRP and it will be for high pressure hydrogen of 100 MPa.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun July 21, 2004 )
11.Project for Construction of Hydrogen Base Society and the Demonstration
(1) Hydrogen Base Recycle Society
A demonstration project starts to establish the hydrogen based recycle society at Waseda region in Honjo City, Saitama Prefecture, by producing hydrogen from waste silicon and aluminum and also from bio-mass and storing the hydrogen into hydrogen storing alloy and utilizing it for such as one man FC commuter, lighting system by FC and FC heat pump. WASEDA University takes the initiative to conduct the demonstration under participation of 7 firms including Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., SANYO Aqua Technology Co., Ltd. and ITEC Corporation (Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture) for 3 years from 2004. They aim at construction of the model for hydrogen energy society by receiving 2 billion yen from Ministry of the Environment, which is subsidy for the Measures to Cope with Global Warming.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun July 2, 2004 )
(2) EEWK Project
gEco-Energy Web Kenkyukai (EEWK)h, a developing group for regional mutual net work system of natural energy, organized by EBARA CORPORATION, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., The Japan Research Institute, Ltd., WASEDA University, etc., held a symposium at Yokohama City and published the detail of the model project which will be installed at Kanazawa Ward, Yokohama City. Establishing 1,000 kW net work at the vicinity of Yokohama City University in 2006, the net work across the district along with Kanazawa Seaside Line will be completed in 2008. EEWK aims at establishment of the net work which provides all energies required at the area without depending on the existing electric utility, by utilizing existing wasted heat and energy effectively up to the maximum extent. Heat and electricity will be distributed to the district by using solar cell, wind power, waste material power generation and FC as power sources, and by combining co-generation, battery and biomass with power sources, and by using IT technology.
( Denki Shimbun July 9, 2004 )
12.Development of Micro FC for PDA
(1) KDDI Corporation
KDDI will develop portable micro DMFC jointly with Hitachi, Ltd. and TOSHIBA Corporation and plans to complete the prototype by the end of 2005 and commercialize it in 2007. The price target is the level not to exceed so much that of lithium ion battery.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun July 11, 2004 )
(2) Kagawa University
Professor Shuxiang GUO, Faculty of Engineering, Kagawa University, has developed an ultra micro pump, utilizing coil spring of shape-memory alloy. The flow rate can be controlled by micro litter per hour level. And it can be used as disposable because the manufacturing cost except power source is reduced to a little over 1,000 yen per unit by simplifying the construction. He thinks the application to fuel supply system of micro FC.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun July 20, 2004 )
(3) Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.
Hitachi Maxell developed an electrode catalyst which contributes to the cost reduction of portable micro DMFC. The company selected molybdenum oxide as the catalyst material, of which price is 1/10 ~ 1/100 of platinum, and succeeded to fine the molybdenum oxide crystal to 1 nm in diameter and make it adhere evenly on electrode carbon particle by utilizing the technology to fine the magnetic particle, used for magnetic tape production. They proceed with improvements of manufacturing technologies for mass production from now.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun July 20, 2004, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Denpa Shimbun, The Chemical Daily July 21, 2004 )
(4) Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi developed a DMFC with power output of 10 W for note type PC, adopting hydro carbon for electrolyte membrane. The DMFC can be used for any type because the shape is thin structure of 5 mm thickness which can be installed on back side of box of liquid crystal display. The development of methanol cartridge has been entrusted to one of the major disposable lighter manufacturer. The thickness of the hydro carbon electrolyte membrane having a feature to suppress the cross over phenomenon is 15 micro meter, and diameters of electrode material composed of carbon is 200 ~ 300 nm and the diameter of catalyst particle is about 3 nm and the life of cell is about 4,000 hours. Fuel cartridge is 50 cc in capacity and it can operate PC for 8 hours, and they donft use higher methanol concentration than 43 % regulated by law. As the power is supplied from AC jack, the DMFC can be applied to note type PC made by other company.
( The Chemical Daily July 23, 2004 )
13.New Type FC
(1) Microbial FC
A research team of Pennsylvania University, USA, developed the technology to improve the power generation efficiency of gMicrobial FCh which generates power when to purify water by microbial work. The electrode structure is carbon paper rolled on plastic tube of 1 inch diameter and 1.5 inch length and the cost is cheap because an expensive ion exchange membrane is not used, and 146 mW power can be generated by dirty water of 1
m3. The improvement work will be proceeded with from now on toward the target of 1 W
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun July 1, 2004 )
(2) FC Electrode from Hemoglobin
Osaka Municipal Technical Research Institute announced on July 1, 2004 that they developed a new technology to make electrode catalyst from protein contained in animal blood. The performance is not so good but expensive platinum is not used, and it is expected when to be realized, to have possibility to be able to produce electrode at low cost of 1/10 in comparison with conventional. By baking protein containing iron at about 800 , such as hemoglobin, the protein changes to activated carbon state and contained iron is changed into the state to have catalytic function. From a protein called as catalase, the same catalyst was formed. The activity is about 70 % of platinum.
( Asahi Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun July 2, 2004 )
14.Development of Component for FC System
IWAKI & CO., LTD (Tokyo) developed bellows type town gas pump for domestic FC. It is a type the discharge flow rate can be controlled and the life is 8,000 hours.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun July 5, 2004 )
15.Market Prospects for FC and Hydrogen Related Equipments
On June 28, Fuji-Keizai Co., Ltd. released a prospects for market scale of distributed power generator and the related system. Market scale of FC is expected to be 50 billion yen in 2007, in comparison with 600 million yen in 2002, by increased sales of PEMFC for domestic use or others.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun June 29, 2004, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 30, 2004 )