`Automobile Makers Introduce FCV and EV into the Market`

Arranged by T. Homma
1. National Policies
2. Policies by Local Governments
3. Elementary Technologies Development for PEFC and DMFC
4. Home Use PEFC Business
5. Introduction of Business Use FC
6. FCV Forefront
7. Technology and Demonstration of Hydrogen Station
8. Technology Development of Hydrogen Production and Purification
9. Technology Development of Hydrogen Transport and Storage
10. Development and Business of Micro-FC for Portable Equipments
11. Development of Metrological Technology Related with Hydrogen and FC

1. National Policies
(1) Committee on tax of Liberal Democratic Party
@On Dec. 10, 2008 the above committee chaired by Mr. Yuji Tsushima decided a policy that taxes for low emission cars should decreased tentatively for 3 years. The decreasing rates should be 100% for newly purchased plug-in hybrid cars, electric cars, FCV, etc. For the other low-emission cars reduction rate should be from 25% to 50%. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Dec. 11, 2008 and The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun Ded. 12, 2008]

(2) METI 2009 fiscal year budget
@On Dec. 20, 2008 the 2009 fiscal year budget (draft) was shown to Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) by Ministry of Finance. The total budget for energy specified account is 703.4 billion yen, which is by 2.5% less than the 2008 fiscal year budget. Furthermore, energy-related budget of 9.6 billion yen is allocated from the general account and 9,00 million yen is included in the revised budget. The advanced energy technology plan for low carbon society is 88.6 billion yen (25.7 billion yen increase) and 9.8 billion yen is included in the revised budget draft. New items are CCS demonstration (3.3 billion yen plus 1 billion yen in the revised budget draft) and subsidiary for introduction of solar power generation into residences (29.1 billion yen plus 9 billion yen). Strongholds for advanced batteries (3 billion yen) and subsidiary for home use FC (6.1 billion yen) are also accepted. For real use of Kyoto mechanism and for subsidiary of promotion of clean energy automobiles 21.8 billion yen and 3.4 billion yen are respectively allocated. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Dec. 22, 2008]

2. Policies by Local Governments
(1) Osaka city
@In relation with proposition of effective use of digestive gas from Ono Sewage Facility and Suminoe Sewage Facility, Osaka City selected a group of Fuel Cell Japan Co., Ltd and Marubeni Corp. as the excellent proposition maker. In the proposition it was proposed that the gas from the two facilities is utilized as fuel to supply electric power and heat to the facilities. In the Ono facility 2 sets of 300 kW MCFC and 20 sets of 25 kW micro-gas-engine power generators will be installed and in the Suminoe facility 2 sets of 300 kW MCFC and 15 sets of 25 kW micro-gas-engine power generators will be introduced. Average gas production in the Ono facility is 13,900 m3/day, and that in the Suminoe facility was 10,400 m3/day. [The Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun (construction) Dec. 3, 2008]

(2) Yamanashi Prefecture
@Yamanashi Prefecture examined 72 items, which the prefecture required and proposed, in 2009 fiscal year budget draft by Ministry of Finance, and it was elucidated on Dec. 21, 2008 that 29.7 billion yen was allocated to R&D of FC and it is by 34.4% increase compared with the previous year budget. The prefecture shows expectation that R&D and personnel training will be promoted. [The Yamanashi Nichinichi Shimbun Dec. 22, 2008]

3. Elementary Technologies Development for PEFC and DMFC
(1) Sanyo Special Steel Co., Ltd. and Hokkaido University
@The above company in Himeji city announced that in cooperation with Prof. Shudo, an associate professor of the university, they developed separator technology, by which power generation of DMFC etc. was increased 3 times. The channels on a separator for hydrogen supply etc. was changed from ditches to porous channels made by sintering powder of stainless steel base materials. The new separators were applied to DMFC and the output density of 134 mW/cm2 was observed. Hereafter, the commercialization will be aimed by combination and improvement of electrolyte membrane, catalysts etc. [The Asahi Shimbun, The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry), The Tekko Shimbun (iron and steel),The Chemical Daily Nov. 26, 2008 and The Kobe Shimbun Nov. 29, 2008]

(2) Kyushu University, JASRI/Spring-8 and Tokyo Institute of Technology
@A research group consisting of the above three succeeded in synthesis of a nano-hybrid thin film of porosity and crystallinity, in which organic molecules and inorganic high polymers form layered structure. It is expected as catalyst of FC electrode and also in application to electro-luminescence and transistors. In this research a crystal copper complex was made in thin films, and this copper complex has high proton conductivity and active as a catalyst, so that it has been developed as material for FC. Bulk materials can be made in crystalline form, but crystal thin film could not be made but amorphous thin film was only made, and uniformity in thin film was a task. The research group used the copper complex to form crystal organic and inorganic hybrid thin film, and it was investigated by surface x-ray diffraction. The thin film has crystal structure of periodical order in layered structure. The order was observed in the layer and also in the inter layer. If this material of this structure could be made on the carbon electrode, the surface area would be increased and the performance would be increased. Thus it could be used as substitute of platinum. Hereafter, real use is aimed with carbon electrodes. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Chemical Daily Nov. 27, 2008 and The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) Dec. 3, 2008.]

(3) Japan Association of Molds
@A branch of this association in Osaka city will try to make FC metal separators in January of 2009 with a 200 ton press of servo type in cooperation of Technology Research Institute for Osaka Prefecture. To supply hydrogen fine channels of 1 mm width and 0.5 mm depth will be made on stainless steel plate. High precision mold of error less than 2 micro m and separator of 20 micro m error are the targets. A metal plate of 10 cm square of stainless steel SUS 304 will be used, and problems of deformation of the plate during press, spring back etc. will be studied for future real use. The association aims to recognize it as "Activity supporting comprehensive activation of local industries" by Osaka City and through trail making the separator will be sold to FC makers. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Dec. 18, 2008]

4. Home Use PEFC Business
(1) Shizuoka Gas Co., Ltd.
@Since April of 2009 the company is going to start sale of 1 kW output home use PEFC, "Enefarm". For a typical general home 6,000 hour annual operation is possible, and about 60% of electric consumption and about 80& of hot water can be supplied. In early stage installation cost is estimated 1 million yen - 1.2 million yen considering governmental subsidiary, and sales will be made mainly for newly built detached houses. While mass production lines of equipments are prepared in electric makers, the company will sell them to remodeled houses and apartment houses. Thus FC will be propagated in wide range. In the first fiscal year demand of 30 - 50 sets are estimated. In 2020 when downsizing of components and reduction of cost proceed, 5,300 sets of annual sales are estimated. [The Shizuoka Shimbun Nov. 26, 2008]

(2) Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
@Mr. Ozaki, the president of the company, talked that in early 2009 fiscal year it is aiming commercialization of home use PEFC under development. The system is now being developed in collaboration with ENEOS Celltec Corp. and Toshiba FC System Corp. The demonstration is now proceeding in detached houses etc, and it is done in 365 houses. Endurance of 40,000 hours is in sight. Thus the development is going on smoothly. [The Sankei Shimbun Dec. 5, 2008, The Asahi Shimbun Dec. 6, 2008 and The Mainichi Shimbun Dec. 12,, 2008]

(3) Saibu Gas Co., Ltd.
@On Dec. 18, 2008 the company in Fukuoka city announced that it is going to start sales of 1 kW home use PEFC in spring of 2009. It organizes PEFC project team (4 persons) in a living planning division, and they are examining sales strategy, dealt goods, fair rate of gas for FC etc. The FC will be either that made by Panasonic Corp. or by Ebara Ballard Corp. The fair rate will be reduced by 20% compared with normal contract, and it is the same as that for home use cogeneration systems "Ecowill". The sales price of the system is expensive and it will be over 1 million yen, but it would be below 1 million yen, if governmental support now under consideration could be used. The company is now selling FC and solar cell panels in combination as "Energy Saving House" competing with all electrification by electric power companies. [The Nishinihon Shimbun Dec. 19, 2008]

5. Introduction of Business Use FC
(1) Sharp Corp.
@On Nov. 28, 2008 Mr. Machida, the chairman of the company announced that about 10,000 kW FC is going to be installed as power sources in factories of liquid crystal panels etc., which will be introduced until March of 2010 in Sakai city. Furthermore, "Integrated Energy Managing Center" will be established to monitor electric consumption of newly opened factories of 18 companies including Sharp Corp. for energy saving. [The Yomiuri Shimbun Nov. 29, 2008]

(2) Japan Softdrink Vending Machine Council
@On Dec. 1, 2008 the association announced that it completed an action program, in which total electric consumption by automatic venders would be reduced by 60% till 2050 compared with that in 2005. In short range utilization of heat pumps, light turn-off of venders set in-door for 24 hours etc. would be promoted, and in medium and long range development of new technologies utilization, such as Light Emitting Diodes and FC, would be promoted. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology)Dec. 2, 2008, The Nihon Shokuryo Shimbun (food), The Chemical Daily Dec. 3, 2008, and The Shokuhin Sangyo Shimbun (food industry) Dec. 11, 2008]

6. FCV Forefront
(1) Honda Motors Corp.
@On Nov. 25, 2008 the company published that it begins sales of new model FCV "FCX Clarity" in Japan by lease. The rate of the lease is 800,000 yen per month. First it will be sold to governments and companies. The no. 1 car was delivered to Ministry of Environment. By one charge of hydrogen FCX clarity can run about 620 km, and it is by 30% increase compared with previous ones. The sales target is 200 cars for 3 years in Japan and US. {The Yomiuri Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy andindustry), The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile), The Nishinihon Shimbun Nov. 26, 2009 and The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Nov. 27, 2008}

(2) Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd., Toyota Motor Corp. and Hokkaido Prefecture
@On Nov. 26, 2008 Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd. set forth that it is going to make running test of Toyota's new model FCV "Toyota FCHV-adv" in collaboration with the other two. Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd. and Hokkaido Prefecture borough one car each from Toyota, and they are going to use it for job. They gather running data, such as operation and performance on public roads in cold climate, and they will give them to Toyota. [The Hokkaido Shimbun Nov. 27, 2008, The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) Dec. 1, 2008, The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Dec. 2, 2008 and The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun Dec. 3, 2008]

(3) Nissan Motors Corp.
@On Nov. 28, 2008 the above company announced that it would lease one car of FCV "X-trail FCV" to Nikko City. It is going to deliver it on Dec. 1, 2008, and the lease rate is 420,000 yen per month. [The Shimotsuke Shimbun Nov. 29, 2008, The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) Dec. 2, 2008j and The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) Dec. 8, 2008]

(4) JHFC
@JHFC announced on Dec. 2, 2008 that it purchased one car of Toyota's FCV "FCHV-adv" by lease. The rate of lease is 800,000 yen per month and it will end in 2011. JHFC will use it for publicity such as trial drive. The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Dec. 3, 2008 and The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) Dec. 4, 2008]

(5) Teito Jidousha Kotsu Co., Ltd.
@The above company in Koto ward of Tokyo prefecture made trial introduction of FCV for a hired car. It is a model case for introduction of environmentally friendly cars. The introduced car is Honda's "FCX clarity" and it will be used as a car for Honda by contract. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Dec. 22, 2008]

7. Technology and Demonstration of Hydrogen Station
@On Dec. 1, 2008 Cosmo Oil Corp. announced that demonstration project of charging 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen started at Daikoku hydrogen station in Yokohama. Data concerning charging know-how, safety, environmental problems, energy efficiency and economy will be gathered. The demonstration is trusted by JHFC, and in cooperation with Iwatani International Corp., construction works for capacity increase were completed. Since pressure was increased from 35 MPa to 70 MPa, hydrogen supply to FCV became possible. JHFC projects are proceeding at 4 stations including Daikoku hydrogen station, and increase to 70 MPa are also made in the other stations. [The Fuji Sankei Business Eye, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Chemical Daily Dec. 2, 2008 and The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Dec. 4, 2008]

8. Technology Development of Hydrogen Production and Purification
(1) Tokyo Institute of Technology
@Prof. Emeritus Miyazaki of Tokyo Institute of Technology found that hydrogen can easily be obtained by mixing aqueous solution of sodium di-hydrogen phosphate or potassium di-hydrogen phosphate with magnesium By mixing 20 mL phosphate solution with 0.1 g magnesium and for 2 hours 23 mL of hydrogen was formed from the former phosphate solution while 27 mL hydrogen from the latter solution. At the oxidation-reduction potential below -200, pH was 6.1. He is looking for industrial usage. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Dec. 4, 2008]

(2) Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
@Prof. Kameyama and his group in Engineering department of the above university developed a reactor with which hydrogen is efficiently produced from bio-ethanol. Simultaneously with hydrogen production CO‚Q is formed and it disturbs hydrogen production. In the new reactor CO‚Q is absorbed and removed. Thus ethanol of 30% purity can be reacted. The rector is consisting of a nickel base steam reformer and a CO‚Q remover of lithium silicate. These are carried on porous aluminum oxide film, which is heated by elecric power. With catalyst heated at 500oC ethanol vapor of 30% purity. is changed to hydrogen, and the reaction stopped at equilibrium, but the reaction can be continued by shifting the equilibrium if CO‚Q removed by absorbing. Trace CO, which is unfavorable in PEFC, can be reduced to 794 ppm by absorbent. When reactivity of absorbent decreases, it is heated at 650Ž and the absorbent can be regenerated by releasing CO‚Q. Thus regeneration and reuse proceed. If a system is introduced, by which 10% ethanol from fermentation of bio-mass, such as straw and woods, is distilled and reformed by this system, home use FC could be dispersed energy systems. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Dec. 3, 2008]

9. Technology Development of Hydrogen Transport and Storage
@Prof. Yonemoto (Graduate Course majored in Technology of Kyushu Institute of Technology) developed composite of clay and plastic of high hydrogen barrier characteristics. Clay membrane "Claist" invented by National Research Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology is used. Hydrogen permeation is controlled with close layer structure of crystalline clay. The composite is sandwiched with carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). The permeability of hydrogen was measured and it is 100 times lower than that of CFRP. The composite clay membrane used in this research is consisting of 90% clayst and the other is caprolactam (material for nylon 6). They are solved in solution and dried after molding. The crystallites in the clay are 1 nm thick and 1 micron m long, and this high aspect ratio is characteristic. Orientation and compact layer structure bring high barrier characteristics. Prof. Yonemoto has been investigating composite materials mainly for aircrafts and spacecrafts, and he found that clay as main material for membrane increases barrier characteristics. [The Chemical Daily Dec. 2, 2008]

10. Development and Business of Micro FC for Portable Equipments
@A company in Sagamihara city of Kanagawa prefecture, FC-R&D, completed development of "Elmap" which is a set of FC and light emitting diode (LED) as illumination and portable power source. It was made in collaboration with Kyoshin, a company in Yoshinogawa city of Tokushima prefecture. FC can be used for illumination, and it is also possible to use it as a power source for electronic equipments like personal computers. For a type using hydrogen storage alloy the output is 300 W and the continuous duration is about 60 hours, when it is used only for LED. The sales will begin in March of 2009, and the price is dependent on specification. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Dec. 1, 2008]

11. Development of Metrological Technology Related with Hydrogen and FC
(1) Yamari Industry Co., Ltd.
@The company in Takatsuki city of Osaka prefecture got first qualification of thermocouple temperature sensor (JIS, C1605). It is the first qualification of this field in Japan. They are a sensor "AD THERMIC" and a thermocouple for mold for extrusion etc. produced by automatic line in Takatsuki city. Many inquiries have been made on the temperature sensors of the company by foreign companies. The JIS is based on ISO standardization, so that quality control was improved including traceability. The qualification was made by Japan Qualification Organization. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Nov. 27, 2008]

(2) Yamatake Corp.
@On Dec. 17, 2008 the company announced that it developed a specific heater unit combining with a desk top dew point meter of cooled mirror type for measuring water content (FINEDEW). It starts shipping on Dec. 18, 2008. The FINEDEW is useful for quality improvement of high dew point gas like fuel gas for FC etc. It is not conventional sampling types, and the sensor prove is inserted into measured pipe line through a union T-tube joint. The company has developed 2 types of specific heaters for sensors. The price is 300,000 yen for a meter with a union T-heater jacket, and that with probe heater jacket is 500,000 yen. The company intends to sell them for FC R&D divisions of makers, universities and research institutes as well as makers of FC evaluation instruments. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Chemical Daily Dec. 18, 2008, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Nikkan Kensetsu Shimbun (construction), The Fuji Sankei Business Eye Dec. 19, 2008, The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave) Dec. 22, 2008 and The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) Dec. 25, 2008]

------------ This edition is made up as of December 25, 2008. ---------------