(1) Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) started to collect public comments for mitigating restrictions on transportation, in order to transport completed FCV freely and promote to diffuse FCV, from March 2, 2005. The collection of public comments this time has been carried out to ease restriction on vehicle loading dangerous object, when passing through under water tunnel, which is restricted by Road Traffic Law. Compressed hydrogen, fuel of FCV corresponds to an object regulated by Road Traffic Law and restricted in case of FCV loading hydrogen. The Road Traffic Law is able to forbid or restrict vehicle loading dangerous object when to pass through the underwater tunnel or long tunnel over 5000 meters, and there are 24 these tunnels in this country.
There are some anxieties that these will be obstructions to transport the finished FCV because these are located on main roads. MLIT established a study group in fiscal year 2003 and has conducted the verification tests using simulated tunnels and carrier cars and collected the data such as temperature of heated air, the exothermic heat value, reaction speed and smoke density in case of fire happened in the tunnel. Consequently they confirmed not to reach an explosion because safety valve installed to the vessel works correctly. MLIT recognizes the necessity of further studies how should be facilities to prevent these disasters, conducting analysis of accident cases and simulation reaching to a fire, assuming every cases, but they got a prospect which would be possible to mitigate the restriction.
( The Daily Automotive News March 3, 2005 )
(2) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will establish a new organization in April and start to make drafts for international standard under cooperation with private enterprises and propose it to ISO or IEC. Cooperating with private enterprises, they intend to secure an influence when to make international standards and increase international competitive power. To be concrete, they will newly establish gStrategy Center for International Standardsh in Japanese Standards Association and propose the international standards made in Japan to ISO or IEC under cooperation with related industries and organizations. For the present, they will lay emphasis on the international standardization of new technologies such as nano technology, photo catalyst, digital home appliance and fuel cell. Besides the Center supports when Japanese will become a secretary or a chairman for making standards at the ISO or others, and bring up persons with special knowledge to be able to negotiate at foreign country and also undertake related information collection for example movements of the rival countries.( Nihon Keizai Shimbun March 4, 2005 )
Agency for Natural Resources and Energy will establish Advanced Basic Technology Research Center for Fuel Cell at Daiba, Tokyo on April 1, 2005, which National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology is mother body and it conducts basic research of PEMFC. They intend to invite top researcher from Toyota Motor Corporation as the head of this center and develop the center as a Research Institute which bridges between government and industries.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 8, 2005 )
(3) NEDO, NEF
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) intends to start new projects to be assigned more than a half of 20 billion yen invested for development of FC in fiscal year 2005, and the main project among the new projects is a large scale demonstration project for residential use fuel cell. As budget for MCFC development was already finished, they intend to commercialize two type fuel cells, the one is PEMFC (DMFC) expected to be utilized as residential and mobile use and the other is SOFC with high power generation efficiency which electrical power industry pays an attention.( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 8, 2005 )
New Energy Foundation (NEF) will start a large scale monitor project which is conducted as subsidy project entrusted from NEDO, raising the contractors publicly at the middle of March and selecting the enterprises to be entrusted in April. Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., Nippon Oil Corporation, Japan Energy Corporation, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. and Saibu Gas Co., Ltd. decided to participate in it. NEF intends to subsidize six million yen per unit as the maximum limit for the total amount of expenses that energy enterprises purchase fuel cells from the FC manufacturers and install them, and their target is to reduce the initial investment lower than one million yen per unit within three years. Under the present conditions, the purchase price of fuel cell per unit from FC manufacturer is 10 million yen and the installation expense is one million yen per unit. Though 400 units in total are to be installed in fiscal year 2005, energy enterprises must pay the difference between the actual cost and the subsidy as the upper limit of the subsidy is six million yen per unit.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 8, 2005 )
2.Policy and Activity in Local Government
(1) Hyogo Prefecture
gDream Creation Grouph, research group of Kansai Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry, who has been studying a possibility of utilization of FC as an electric power source for equipments used for rescue works at disaster, and Fire Department of Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture performed the final test toward realization at the area of the Fire Department on February 18, 2005. The used PEMFC is 19 cm in height and 8 kg in weight and has characteristics of little noise and vibration. At the disaster site, the noise from the electric power generator has caused inconvenience in case of conventional power generator although it is necessary to recognize voice asking for help and faint reaction. They have strengthened its waterproof capability by modifying a product on market.( Sankei Shimbun February 19, 2005 )
The events such as race using FCV and solar car, exhibition and trial driving of low-pollution car and gthe 6th Japan Eco-Car Committeeh will be held for three days from May 20 to 22, 2005 at the site of Kobe Airport to be opened in the future. The execution committee, Eco-Car Festa 2005 will promote, being supported by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and Kobe City, and Kobe Airport Terminal Building Company.
( The Daily Automotive News February 21, 2005 )
(2) Mie Prefecture
Sharp Corporation announced on February 22, 2005 that they will start an operation test of an electric power system combined PEMFC and solar cell as the demonstration test of fuel cell based on subsidy project of Mie Prefecture. They intend to install the system in Yokkaichi Technical High School at the end of March and to take the data for one year. The maximum capacity of electric power source combined solar cell and fuel cell is 10 kW and it is planed that the generated power would be stored into battery and utilized as the emergency power source in the school and the exhaust heat would be supplied to greenhouse and utilized to grow up trees.
( Asahi Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, The Chemical Daily February 23, 2005 )
The demonstration tests of PEMFC reformed LPG, supported by Mie Prefecture, started one after another. Cosmo Oil Co., Ltd. and its subsidiary Cosmo Gas started the test of 700W class PEMFC in Yokkaichi City under cooperation with Toshiba Fuel Cell Power System Corporation. They installed it at Isaka-Dam Cycle Park and started the operation from March 1, 2005. The generated electric power will be utilized to save power consumption at control office of the Cycle Park and the waste heat will be supplied to a footbath. Also, Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. started the test of 5 kW class PEMFC system in Suzuka City under cooperation with Ishikawajima- Harima Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. They installed the system in Higashi Substation, Fire Station, Suzuka City and will conduct the test from March 2 to October 20, 2005, using propane gas on market as fuel. For the present, the system is to be operated for 8 hours a day and 30% of electric power demands would be covered and hot water is to be used at the bathroom or other.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, The Chemical Daily March 3, 2005, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun March 7, 2005, Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun March 9, 2005 )
3.Research and Development of Elemental technologies for PEMFC
(1) NOK Corporation
NOK improved separator for PEMFC to separate hydrogen and air. This separator is integrated with sealing part made of rubber and this configuration results in decrease of troubles although conventional separator consisted of independent separator and sealing part has a difficulty for sealing in case the sealing part is integrated with separator at the assembling process. This unitized product can decrease inferior goods and also shorten the assembling time because it is delivered as unitized product. NOK expects that FC manufacturer can reduce cost.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun February 25, 2005 )
(2) Shin-Etsu Polymer Co., Ltd.
Shin-Etsu Polymer obtained a prospect to develop mold separator for PEMFC, made of carbon material and PPS (Poly Phenylene Sulfide). This has features that the dissolution is a small and formability including drilling is good. Shin-Etsu is strong in mixing technology at high dense and uniform states and precise processing technology. They have developed separator made of carbon or PPS since 2 years ago. PPS separator has equivalent mechanical strength with phenol resin and the electric resistance is low. Dissolution level is one fourth in comparison with phenol resin and the mechanical strength and the durability are satisfied with requested standard. The company has completed 90% of the development for PPS separator and plans to tackle with the detail design including passage necessary for commercialization under cooperation with FC makers.
( The Chemical Daily March 4, 2005 )
(3) Daido Steel Co., Ltd.
Daido Steel announced on March 10, 2005 that they developed Nano Clad (metallic material) which is used for separator of PEMFC and it has such characteristics as high corrosion resistance and high electric conductivity. They started the sample delivery to motor and home appliance companies at rate of 10 ton per month by installing the production facility. The new metallic material is special stainless steel covered strongly with very thin gold (thickness : a few to several 10 nm). It has features as metal such as impact resistance, formability to thin plate, mass producibility, low cost and recycle use. And it has features of gold such as high corrosion resistance and high electrical conductivity. The producible size is, 0.1 mm in thickness and 250 mm as the maximum width. They confirmed better power generation performance than carbon separator generally used by 1,000 hours test conducted in the company. Volume and weight of PEMFC can be reduced to a half by using nano clad metal separator in comparison with carbon separator. The price is several 1,000 yen per one separator at the current stage, however, the company said that they can reduce the cost to 100 yen per one separator in 2010.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, The Daily Automotive News, Denpa Shimbun, Tekko Shimbun, Chunichi Shimbun, The Chemical Daily March 11, 2005 )
4.Demonstration Test and Business Deployment of Home Use FC
(1) IDEMITSU KOSAN Co., Ltd.
Idemitsu intends to conduct real market activity for home use PEMFC fueled LPG from 2006. And they will put PEMFC fueled kerosene on market from 2008. Idemitsu participated into FC project led by NEF (New Energy Foundation) from March in 2004 and started the demonstration test of LPG type PEMFC at Nakatsugawa City in Gifu Prefecture. Although specification of the LPG type PEMFC on market is now under study, they targets 700 mm in height, 700 mm in width and 300 – 400 mm in depth. On the other hand, they attained reforming efficiency of 80% in kerosene type and they will start the demonstration test in 2006. The target price is 60,000 – 100,000 yen per year as rental.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun March 1, 2005, Chugoku Shimbun, Hokkaido Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 11, 2005 )
(2) SEKISUI HOUSE, Ltd.
Sekisui announced on March 1, 2005 that they will sell independent residence provided with PEMFC. Seven houses among 31 are with PEMFC, to be sold in March this year at Kichijyoji-Higashi Town. The PEMFC is to be installed and operated by Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.
( Fuji Sankei Business Eye March 2, 2005 )
(3) Nippon Oil Corporation
Nippon Oil has a rush of orders for gENEOS ECO LP-1h which is PEMFC system for home use marketed by Nippon Oil. Customers hoping the installation are already 1.5 times by the end of March for 150 units planned for sales. They will decide the sites in June after their evaluation if there is a merit by the installation. More than 80% of the applicants are general home and the remained are agents who Nippon Oil sells oil products. The conditions to select the site are 8 items in total such as independent house, LPG user and so on. More than 10 sites are already decided. The contract term is 3 years and the installation fee is charged on Nippon Oil. Customers will pay 60,000 yen per year as rental fee. They will finish all installation of 150 units by February in 2006.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun March 3, 2005 )
(4) Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.
Although Tokyo Gas put PEMFC cogeneration system, gLIFUELh on market in February this year, formal applicants reached 70 and 600 persons requested the material despite only for one month after they started to collect the applicants. They plan to close the list at the end of March. The target sales numbers for the first year are 200 units in total and 170 are assigned for houses newly constructed and the remained are for existing houses. The current applicants are for 20 units assigned for existing houses. The units would be assigned with first priority for optimum users who live in house with floor area of 150
m2 class and the residents are many.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 8, 2005 )
(5) Iwatani International Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI)
Iwatani started demonstration operation of LPG fueled PEMFC cogeneration system for home use. They introduced one unit made by MHI into Shiga Technology Center (Moriyama City) and test the operation performance under cooperation with MHI. Power generation efficiency of the demonstration unit is 36% (LHV) and total thermal efficiency is 87%. They intend to put it on market in October this year.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Denki Shimbun March 11, 2005, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, The Chemical Daily March 15, 2005 )
(6) Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd.
Hokkaido Gas made a decision on March 16, 2005 that they will put 1 kW class PEMFC for home use on market in 2008. They have been studying specification for cold district now under cooperation with Hokkaido University. They have participated into a test conducted by The Japan Gas Association at residence in Sapporo City and they will replace the unit installed at Hokkaido University to the newest one and introduce other units to install at their employeefs residence and general home and test them. Ichitaka Co., Ltd., LPG distributor has a plan to sell. Heat demand is high in Hokkaido and cogeneration equipment can be used efficiently in comparison with Main Island of Japan. They expect to be popularized if the unit price would be less than one million yen.
( Hokkaido Shimbun March 17, 2005 )
(7) Subsidy Project for Monitors of Home Use FC
As for the above Subsidy Project for Monitors of Home Use FC, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. will tackle with verification test for natural gas fueled unit from the first half in 2005 under cooperation with 3 makers including Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. And they will enter into commercial stage from 2006. Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K, Kyushu Oil Corporation and Taiyo Oil Co., Ltd. will participate into the project by LPG reforming type. In this monitor project, major subject to have to solve in FY 2005 is how 400 units in total are assigned.>
The purpose of this project is to popularize home use FC and 6 million yen per unit is subsidized and the total budget is 2.5 billion yen. Tokyo Gas has a policy to sell 200 units toward commercialization, collecting some money from users as rental fee and Nippon Oil Corporation is marketing 150 units using the same way. On the other hand, Osaka Gas will participate into the project, taking other approach which they put priority on verification test using own money, not collecting some money from users, although they will receive subsidy.
3 FC fabricator, partners of Osaka Gas will deliver 21 units into Urban Renaissance Agency. They are conducting demonstration test of 80 – 100 units in 2005 and they intend to commercialize from 2006 by concluding agreements with FC fabricators in the latter half of 2005.
Toho Gas and Saibu Gas are participating into the project from gas utility industry. And 6 companies from oil industry will take part in the project, who are Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K, Kyushu Oil Corporation and Taiyo Oil Co., Ltd. and Nippon Oil Corporation said above in addition to Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. and Japan Energy Corporation. Each company introduces 10 units in 2005.
Summing simply all units the above companies plan, the total number exceeds 500. However, FC makers are in the same position to be able to fabricate only limited units and the number must be adjusted from now.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 17, 2005 )
5.The Front of FCV
(1) Nissan Motor Corporation
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced on February 21, 2005 that they independently developed PEMFC stack for FCV. The stack (90 kW power output) recorded 2 times in power output per unit weight and 2 times in life in comparison with purchased goods from market, by adopting a thin type separator and integrated piping. On the other hand, 70 MPa high pressure hydrogen gas vessel fabricated by Dynetek in Canada has the configuration winding carbon fiber on aluminum liner and the storage capacity is increased by 30% in comparison with existing one. They will start evaluation test of the vehicle, loading these on a vehicle based on SUV, gX-TRAILh.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, The Daily Automotive News, Tekko Shimbun, Chugoku Shimbun, Fuji Sankei Business Eye, Kahoku Shinpo February 22, 2005, Asahi Shimbun February 23, 2005, The Chemical Daily February 24, 2005, Mainichi Shimbun February 25, 2005 )
(2) Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.
Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. and Shell-Hydrogen BV announced on February 21, 2005 that they introduced gF-Cellh fabricated by Daimler Chrysler. The lease rate is 1.2 million yen per month and they intend to use the car for various events including trial riding for 2 years as business use vehicle of Showa Sell Sekiyu K.K..
( The Chemical Daily February 22, 2005, Tekko Shimbun February 23, 2005, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun February 28, 2005 )
(3) Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.
Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. renewed the contract leased FCV, gFCXh from Honda Motor Co., Ltd. The term is 1 year from March 1, 2005 and the lease rate is 800 thousands yen per month. The company has been holding events for trial riding sponsored by local governments and the cumulative persons for trial riding reached to 1,794 and the cumulative driving distance reached to 16,580 km. Employee under contract is in charge of driving the FCX, who has been trained for driving FCV by Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and ordinary persons can not drive.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun February 28, 2005, The Chemical Daily March 1, 2005 )
(4) JHFC (Japan Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Project)
The 3 rd seminar by JHFC was held on March 10, 2005 at Pacifico Yokohama, and report of the demonstration test, trial riding of FCV and exhibition were conducted. Approximately 1,000 persons from domestic and overseas participated. On the demonstration test report, mileage data (average) of FCV were opened to the public, and the mileage of FCV showed nearly 2 times in all speed range in comparison with gasoline vehicle and also showed 10 to 20 % higher value in comparison with hybrid vehicle. The 11 driving routes were prepared, including public roads and highways, and cumulative driving distance with 13 FCV in 2004 reached to 29,000 km. JHFC will calculate Well-to-Wheel efficiency in 2005, by calculating the energy consumption during hydrogen production process. On the other hand, hydrogen production efficiency was 55.7% in case of naphtha reforming, calculated as produced hydrogen energy in numerator and supplied energy in denominator, and the same figure was 65.9% in case of methanol reforming. If hydrogen is mass-produced at the rated operation, the efficiency would be 63.2% for naphtha reforming and 75% for methanol reforming.
( The Daly Automotive News March 11, 2005 / March 15, 2005, The Chemical Daily March 15, 2005 )
(5) Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd.
Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd. announced on March 17, 2005 that they will offer small FCV gComusu FCHVh and others developed by them to the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi in Japan. The Comusu FCHV and 2 seats small electric vehicle gComusu wh will be utilized as means that staffs of the exposition move around the site.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 18, 2005 )
6.Power Sources for Mobile Equipments other than FCV
(1) FC Motor Bicycle
9 students of Automobile Course, Tokyo Municipal Sumida Technical High School have completed a FC motor bycycle (number; Koto Ward Fu 3178). 0.16 kW power output PEMFC is loaded on a modified carrier of bicycle, and the speed is 20 km/h and it can cruise about 400 km for the maximum 20 hours per one hydrogen charge. It has been completed at 800 thousands yen although usually it would cost 3 million yen.
( Mainichi Shimbun February 21, 2005 )
(2) Deep Sea Cruising Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology announced that the Deep Sea Cruising Autonomous Underwater Vehicle gUrashimah powered by PEMFC achieved a record of 317 km continuous cruising with unmanned autonomous operation. The fuel is hydrogen and stored in hydrogen storing alloy which manganese and cobalt is added to misch metal, and 2 sets of 4 kW hermetic type PEMFC stacks using metal separator are loaded as the power source. The record has been accomplished in 56 hours from February 26, 2005 in Suruga Bay.
( Asahi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Tokyo Shimbun March 1, 2005, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 2, 2005, The Chemical Daily March 7, 2005 )
(3) FC Motor Bicycle
Honda-Vietonam introduced a prototype motor bicycle provided with FC system gHONDA-FC-Stackh in Hanoi City. They also intend to carry out the demonstration of the FC bicycle in Ho Chi Minh City in addition to the Hanoi City.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun March 2, 2005 )
7.Technology Development and Construction of Hydrogen Station
(1) The 2005 World Exposition, Aichi in Japan
The opening ceremony of hydrogen stations was held on March 7, 2005 at bus terminal in Seto Site, which station supply hydrogen to FCB (bus) connecting between Nagakute and Seto site of the Aichi World Exposition. Two groups of Toho Gas Co., Ltd. / Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation and Nippon Steel Corporation each constructed 1 unit of hydrogen supply facility, committed by Engineering Advancement Association of Japan. The former is onsite type of town gas reforming and the latter is offsite type which hydrogen is produced by purifying coke oven gas at Nagoya Iron Works, Nippon Steel Corporation and transported it using trailer. The hydrogen supply capacity is 2,000
m3/day. 10,000 m3 of compressed and stored hydrogen gas are supplied to 8 shuttle buses and 4 FCV.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Chunichi Shimbun, Tekko Shimbun March 8, 2005, Denki Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, The Chemical Daily March 9, 2005 )
(2) Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation
Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation announced on March 10, 2005 that they developed a dispenser by their own technology which 70 MPa hydrogen can be charged for FCV and moreover that they established the commercial technology of the hydrogen gas station at 70 MPa, by selecting the compressor and the gas accumulator at the maximum working pressure of 110 MPa, establishing assembling procedures for piping connected between the units or used in the units, and developing the whole system of hydrogen station including charge control technology to FCV. Although there are various kinds of hydrogen production facilities, they will realize the technology to be able to integrate any unit, by making the whole control system flexible. Assuming hydrogen gas dealing capacity of 100/200/300
Nm3/h, they prepared the units coping with these. They stated that the pressure of the fuel tank could be increased up to around 90 MPa in the future.
( The Chemical Daily March 11, 2005, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 15, 2005 )
8.Technology Development for Hydrogen Production, Transportation and Reforming
(1) Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.
Tokyo Gas developed a hydrogen production technology with high efficiency of 76.2 % from town gas, by adopting reformer technology using hydrogen separation membrane. The efficiency of PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorber) type has been limited at 68 %. The production capacity is 40 Nm3/h and the hydrogen purity is 99.999 %. And the target is to commercialize hydrogen production technology necessary for hydrogen supply to FCV. For improving the efficiency, hydrogen separation speed has been increased by analyzing town gas flow pattern in the reactor and temperature profile in the reactor has been improved to be optimum. The developed system is a compact because separation membrane is used and it is 3.6 m in width, 2.6 m in depth and 2.3 m in height. Supplying hydrogen to 2 FCV owned by the company, the running test is scheduled.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 3, 2005 )
(2) Petroleum Energy Center
Petroleum Energy Center (PEC), jointly with IDEMITSU KOSAN CO., LTD., started the demonstration test, scheduled from the end of February to the middle of March, which hydrogen produced by kerosene reforming is transported and supplied after highly purified and pressurized. Increasing purity of reformed hydrogen up to 99.99 % and mixing with simulated hydrogen reformed kerosene and pressurizing it up to 40 MPa, the high pressure hydrogen will be transported from Tado Cho(Town), Mie Prefecture, to Moriyama-ku(Ward), Nagoya City, and Fujioka Cho(Town), Aichi Prefecture, by using specialized hydrogen transportation vehicle. The hydrogen is supplied to FCV owned by Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya City and IDEMITSU at Moriyama-ku and the hydrogen is also supplied to the stationary FC at Fujioka Cho.
( The Chemical Daily March 4, 2005, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun March 7, 2005 )
(3) MITSUBISHI LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS CO., LTD and Hagio Koatsu Yoki (Hagio High Pressure Vessel) Co., Ltd.
MITSUBISHI LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS and Hagio Koatsu Yoki (Niihama City) will start a demonstration test of new LPG supply system for commercialization of 1 kW class domestic PEMFC, based on gSimple Desulfurizing Technologyh developed by Hagio Koatsu Yoki. Hagio Koatsu Yoeki has developed simple desulfurizer, by combining LPG cylinder with less expensive catalyst, which can reduce sulfur concentration to below 1/20. By this technology, poisoning of nickel catalyst in reformer and platinum catalyst in PEMFC are mitigated, and LPG utilization for PEMFC system becomes feasible and the cost can be reduced sharply. The desulfurization system of the company can be used even during automatic cylinder switch, and utilized to PEMFC without changing ordinary delivery system. The demonstration test is scheduled from March 2005 to May 2006.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, The Chemical Daily March 11, 2005 )
9.Development of Micro FC for PDA
NTT announced on February 22, 2005 that they trial manufactured micro PEMFC which can be installed on the cell phone directly. By fueling hydrogen directly, the power generation capacity per unit area is increased to 4 times of DMFC, i.e. 200
mW/cm2. The prototype PEMFC is 8 cm in length, 4.2 cm width and 1.3 cm in thickness and the weight is 104 g. Hydrogen fuel is stored in hydrogen storing alloy, and it can talk for 9 hours by charging 9 litters per one time.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Denki Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Denpa Shimbun, Fuji Sankei Business Eye February 23, 2005 )
(2) TOSHIBA CORPORATION
On February 28, 2005, it is opened to the public that 2006 version Guinness Book will report the world smallest DMFC developed by Toshiba in 2004. The power out put of this DMFC is 100 mW, and the size is 56 mm in length 22 mm in width and 91 mm in the maximum thickness. A small audio player can be driven for 20 hours by 2 mL methanol fuel. The passive type is adopted to supply fuel and air.
( Asahi Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, Denki Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Denpa Shimbun, Nikkan Kensetu Kogyo Shimbun, Chugoku Shimbun, Fuji Sankei Business Eye, The Chemical Daily March 1, 2005 )
10.Measuring and Observation Technology related to FC and Hydrogen
(1) HIGH ENERGY ACCELERATOR RESEARCH ORGANIZATION
Assistant Professor Sawa, et al, HIGH ENERGY ACCELERATOR RESEARCH ORGANIZATION, succeeded to observe directly the hydrogen molecules confined in fullerene by using strong X-ray. Putting gOpen Type Fullereneh synthesized by Professor Komatsu et al, Kyoto University in high temperature and pressure hydrogen gas, hydrogen molecule goes into the fullerene naturally and it is confined. The research team radiated synchrotron radiation X-ray to the fullerene in various angles, cooling this down to ultra low temperature and processed the data by computer. As the result, they could observe the appearance of hydrogen molecule getting into fullerene as looming ring pattern. Though a method to detect the position of atomic nucleus of hydrogen by using neutron beam is generally favorable way, this synchrotron radiation X-ray method is to analyze, paying attention to electron which constitutes hydrogen.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun February 28, 2005 )
(2) KIKUSUI Electronics Corporation
KIKUSUI put new impedance meter gKFM2150h on market considering FC related market. It can be applied for potential and impedance characteristics tests which could not be covered by conventional FC impedance meter. The price including tax is 1,312,500 yen, and annual sales are 100 units. The meter has measuring functions including data gathering by Cole Plot that are measuring impedance by charging alternating current at various frequency, and also measuring membrane resistance by current cutoff method by discharging or stopping discharge of FC. For the impedance measurement, the range of 10 mHz to 20 kHz is covered.
( Denpa Shimbun March 4, 2005, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 11, 2005 )
(3) TechnoLinc Ltd.
TechnoLinc (Niitsu City) manufactured a prototype sensor which is ultra micro size which can be put on palm and can detect hydrogen leakage within 0.1 second. This hydrogen sensor has been developed by Professor Harada, Niigata University, and manufactured by the company as trial. The gEMF Methodh, which detects the variation of potential difference of hydrogen ionized by touching to the sensor, is adopted. The sensor detects only hydrogen, and it can detect even if in mixed with town gas. They want to sell them from now, by improving it into chip state of IC.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 12, 2005 )
11.Business Plans related to FC and Hydrogen
(1) Iwatani International Corporation
Iwatani established hydrogen energy department with 15 members in their Administration Office and they will develop various businesses being utilized hydrogen energy from short term to long term, establishing hydrogen energy related facility, business and system including stationary FC and FCV.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun February 24, 2005 )
(2) NEW JAPAN ECO SYSTEM CO., LTD.
NEW JAPAN ECO SYSTEM (Chiba City) developed gmirab-300h, rated capacity 300 W FC and put it on market, which is small size and suitable for research and experiment. 15 MPa hydrogen gas from cylinder is charged into hydrogen unit of hydrogen storing alloy and the hydrogen is supplied to FC unit after adjusting hydrogen gas pressure at 0.03 ~ 0.04 MPa using regulator. Also air is supplied by a fan provided with the FC unit. As the hydrogen pressure is low, the safety is secured and the life of power generation part is long. The purpose is to promote understanding of FC by direct touching to FC. Their target is to market 50 units per month to research laboratory of enterprise and organization of education, by the price of 980,000 yen per unit, directly or through agents.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 7, 2005 )