THE LATEST NEWS NUMBER 170, 2010
`Porous Materials of Catalytic Activity and Mixed Conductivity`

Arranged by T. Homma
1. National Policies
2. Policy by Local Government
3. SOFC Development
4. PEFC Elementary Technologies Development
5. Business of Enefarm and Smart Energy System
6. Forefront of EV and FCV
7. Technology Development and Business of Hydrogen Production and Purification
8. Technology Development and Business of Hydrogen Storage and Transportation
9. Electrolyte Membrane for AFC
10. Development of DEFC (Direct Methanol FC)
11. Development of Bio-FC
12. Development and Sales of Components and Auxiliary Device

1, National Policies
@The cabinet decided new growth strategy and energy fundamental plan. In accordance with this, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry begins to complete "New Energy Advanced Technology Program." The purposes of this program are worldwide energy security and global environmental problem, while it is also intended to strengthen Japanese competitiveness by holding the most advanced technologies in the world.. . Efforts will be devoted to strengthen activities for competitiveness including international standardization.. In the main fields in the advanced technologies development high way transportation system (ITS), FCV, EV, PHV etc. are pointed out. [The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) June 21, 2010]
@On June 10, 2010 NEDO announced that it starts smart grid demonstration in US New Mexico State and it decided the undertakers. The period is by the end of 2013 fiscal year, and the total budget is about 3 billion yen. It is done to keep electric power supply in a case that much renewable energy such as solar cells is introduced into the system. The aim is cooperative control of batteries and thermal energy storage using IT technology to keep high quality power supply. In the demonstration smart houses with solar cells, batteries, smart meters, etc. are going to be built, and they are compared with general houses. Stand alone buildings, which can be independently operated, are built with cogeneration, FC etc, and they are tested when they are separated from electrical grids. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) June 17, 2010].

2. Policy by Local Government
@Saga Prefecture decided to begin development of new generation type solar cells and FC. It starts SOFC research group on June 15, 2010 and that on next generation type solar cells on June 18. Using core ceramic technologies of its main industrial technology in Saga, it is going to carry out development of main components to develop them for future industries promotion. As for SOFC it is assumed to develop on-site type small system for treating sewage from livestock. Mass production technology of high performance ceramics for cells is essential, and technologies of fine ceramics makers in Ariake-machi etc. would be fully used. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) May 26, 2010 and The Saga Shimbun June 10, 2010]

3. SOFC Development
@Hitachi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. decided to start business of large scale SOFC to be installed in factories and large buildings by 2014. In cooperation with Wartsila, a large engine maker in Finland, with which the company had already cooperative relation in engines for ships and power generation, the company intends to supply the large FC to manufacturers hoping to reduce CO2 by developing FC of 50 - 70% power efficiency. The company has policy to develop 50 kW class FC of 52% power efficiency by 2014 and it is going to complete trial SOFC of most advanced type, Main bodies are going to be made by Wartsila and the company is in charge of the total system including such as cogeneration. The company made contracts with Wartsila on FC for Japan. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun June 6, 2010]

4. PEFC Elementary Technologies Development
@A cooperative research group of Kyushu University and Spring-8 announced on May 30, 2010 that they developed "Porous Oriented Nano-crystal Thin Film" expected to be used as electrode catalyst in CO2 recycle researches and FC. This is lattice-like porous multi-layer of metal complexes (MOF) and thick ness of one layer is about 10 A. In activated carbon, typical gas adsorption materials of molecules, absorption sites are irregularly arranged, so that efficiency to permeate gas molecules. Prof. Kitagawa, the group leader and a professor in Science Faculty of Kyoto University, (former in Kyushu University) said that this newly made catalyst and made by stacking regularly so that absorption sites of the same size sites like a jungle gym.. Therefore electrons and molecules can easily immigrate. The size of the sites can be controlled, and it has specific characteristics to permeate particular molecules. Prof. Kitagawa said that the aim is to be really used after 10 years, and there are possibilities of using it in environment and energy problems. [The Nishinihon Shimbun May 31, 2010 and The Chemical Daily June 1, 2010]
@Prof. Furukawa of Kyushu University, Mr. Kinoshita, a research staff of Asahi Chemical Industry Corp. and their group developed new electrode catalysts, which are porous materials of catalytic activity and mixed conductivity. They also announced that they succeeded in theoretical elucidation. Because this new material has mixed conductivity of electrons and ions together with catalytic activity, it is clear that problem in three phases consisted of PEFC electrodes, polymeric electrolyte and catalyst can be solved. Thus rear metal-free catalyst can be realized without platinum. On the other hand, it brings us large promotion of FC system using bio-ethanol. The porous metallic copper complex, which Prof. Kitagawa of Kyoto university found in basic research, was investigated from two view points, i.e., ethanol absorption and oxidation activity. In the room temperature 0.8 molecules were observed per 2 copper atoms. With the developed porous material energy can be obtained at low potential as noble metal catalyst. It can be said that with non-platinum electrode of high efficiency would be developed. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Chemical Daily J 15, 2010, The Denki _Shimbun (electricity) June 16, 2010]

5. Business of Enefarm and Energy System
(1) NF Corporation
@By November of 2011, the company is developing renewable direct currents combined system to control solar photo power generation wind mill generation and FC together with water electrolysis and lithium batteries for connecting direct current systems. Various direct current power sources, batteries and direct current load are connected to 0 - 15 kW DC/DC automatic converters each, and power from a electric power company and AC loads are connected with DC/AC converters. By this networks power can be sent from places of much power by changing power sources. Renewable energy is used at high priority, and supplying power is kept at 400 V. Prof. Ishida of Tsukuba University is going to use the above system for carbon-free neutral dispersed energy system. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business ndtechnology) May 27, 2010]

(2) Sendai City
@Town Gas Division of Sendai City decided to support Enefarm propagation. Companies pointed by makers begin sale since June 1, 2010, and the division support this propagation.. It deals with FC by Toshiba FC System and those of town gas specification by ENEOS Celltech. In the last fiscal year, 10 sets of monitors were installed in houses in Sendai and they were checked in winter operation. In this fiscal year reservation will be accepted directly by the division and 30 sets are the goal. [The Kahoku ShimpoMay 29, 2010]

(3) Nippon Oil Corp.
@The company's goal of Enefarm sale in 2010 fiscal year is 1,500 sets and the company intends to sell them as a double generation system together with solar cells. The most characteristic point of this system is its automatic learning function. The operating time is different each to each. After installation the system learns total power generation and hot water consumption and data are accumulated for 2 - 3 weeks. Using these data operating time is elucidated for each system and the system is operated automatically. Thus installation cost can be reduced. [The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave) May 31, 2010]
@On June 8, 2010 the company announced that a energy system was installed at a commercial facility "Crack Hirugano" in Gujou City, Gifu and it is consisting of solar cells (3.2 kW), FC (0.75 kW), gas cogeneration (4.5 kW) and batteries (14 kWh). A "Soene Monitor System" the company developed was installed, and consumption of electric power and hot water are displayed on a monitor panel in the shop for visualization of energy. In general time, only when the generated power is used in energy consumption equipments and EV charger, and it is short, power is supplied from the grid. Data in the demonstration are gathered, and energy consumption and CO2 reduction are analyzed. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) The Fuji Snkei Bisuness Eye June 9, 2010, The Denki Shimbun (electricity) June 10, 2010, The Nikkan Kensetsu Shimbun (construction) and The Chemical Daily June 11, 2010]

(4) Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
@The company announced on May 31, 2010 that "Smart Energy House Promotion Section" is going to be established in Engineering Division on June 1, 2010. In the section planning of experimental houses for optimization of energy use and their demonstration will be made. The company will build experimental houses in its Nishijima experimental field (Osaka city) and also in Ojimachi, Nara prefecture. In the experimental houses Double generation of SOFC and solar cells will be operated together with lithium ion batteries. Furthermore, optimum control by information technology and floor heating will be attached to improve energy saving characteristics. They will be completed in January of 2010, and until March of 2014 its employees will live in those houses to evaluate elementary technologies and running cost. [The Asahi Shimbun, The Mainichi Shimbun, The Sankei Shimbun, The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 1, 2010, The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave) and The Chemical Daily June 2, 2010]
@In cooperation with Sekisui House, the Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. sold 1,386 sets of Enefarm for just 1 year from the beginning. The goal for the second year was determined 1,700. [The Sankei Shimbun June 2, 2010]

(5) Toyota Motor Group
@The above group bands for business of eco-friendly houses. Nine companies including Denso, Aishin Seiki and Toyota Industries invest Toyota Home in Nagoya city, and they are going to cooperatively make development for CO2 exhaust reduction. They will make a system to generate power by solar cells and FC, and in the system charging of plug-in hybrid and EV is done. Aisin Seiki has made FC, while Toyota Industries made chargers. Thus their accumulated technologies can be applied. The generated power for instance by solar cells can be charged in batteries of cars, and it can also be used for adjusting power demand in the area. [Nihon Keizai Shimbun June 9, 2010]

(6) Fujitsu
@Fujitsu and Fujitsu System Solutions announced on June 14, 2010 that they completed system for production administration of Enefarm to ENEOS Celltech (Gumma Prefecture.) .By making connection between production administration and design, time taken from development to product shipment becomes short. Flexible factory management can be done by coping to order accepts and also to mass production. [The Denki (electricity) Shimbun, The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry), The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Dempa Shimbun(radio wave) The Chemical Daily June 15, 2010 and The Nihon Joho Sangyo Shimbun (information industry) June 21,, 2010]

(7) LPG Business sector
@LPG sector begins large scale purchase of home use FC. For 3 years since 2010 LPG stores will buy 27,000 sets, and the FC bought by the stores will be used by themselves. Then they will explain advantages of FC to their customers, so that base for FC propagation will be level-up. Thus they compete to all electrification by electric power companies. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun June 21, 2010]

(8) Daiwa House
@On June 23, 2010 the company published that it will start demonstration of a house with lithium ion batteries in July. Surplus power from solar cells is stored, and power in the night is also stored in the batteries. By the demonstration necessary capacity etc. will be elucidated. Start of sell is anticipated in the spring of 2011. Experimental houses "SMAxEco HOUSE" were built in exhibition spots in Kasukabe city, Saitama prefecture and in Nagoya city, and 6 kWh lithium ion batteries were adopted. At the house in Saitama all electrification is tested, while Enefarm is used in Nagoya city. Comparing with general houses, the expense for light and heat would be 102% reduced, they anticipated. [The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) June 24, 2010]

6. Forefronts of EV and FCV
(1) Sumitomo Chemical Industries Co., Ltd.
@The Company is going to expand production of lithium batteries and FC materials by gathering whole group members. In the series FC electrolyte membrane is being produced and trial demonstration cars are now being made. For FC materials are developed from non-flluoro-materials. FCV is made for evaluating it and early commercialization. FCV of 50 km/h is used for the test. [The Chemical Daily May 23, 2010]

(2) Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. and Daimler
@On May 25, 2010 The Financial Times reported that a German company, Daimler and a Japanese Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. are planning cooperation of wide range technology development on FCV. The two companies are carrying out now development, but further development needs much money. In interview a Daimler related person said "sharing of development cost is very interesting," and "possibility of establishment of joint venture company" was not denied. PR of Daimler said "it is talking with many companies and Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. is one of them." In the middle of April, Daimler announced cooperation in business and investment with Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and French Renault S.A.S. They are going to collaborate in development of EV and eco-friendly small cars. Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. published comment that "anything has not decided." [The Yomiuri Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Mainichi Shimbun, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Chunichi Shimbun, The Chugoku Shimbun, The Nishinihon Shimbun May 26, 2910, The Nikkan Jidosha Whimbun (automobile) and The Chugoku Shimbun May 27, 2010]

(3) Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
@The President Carlos Ghosn made a press conference on May 26, 2010 in its US Smarna factory and said "The next to zero-emission car is FCV.," announcing it is strengthening FCV development, watching post-EV. As to the published fact that Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. cooperates with US Tesla Motor, and it will fully enter EV market, he said "It is anticipated." coolly, and he said "We will supply EV at a reasonable price." He asserted "Comparing EV by Tesla of about 4.5 million yen (about 500,000 dollars), Nissan EV "LEAF" of about 3 million yen is superior." He did not clearly said about the timing of EV business surplus. [The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) May 28, 2010]
@On June 11, 2010 Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. made 5 passengers EV "LEAF" exhibition, which is going to be sold in December, was open to public on a testing road in Yokosuka city. A sound signal to let walkers know a coming car at low speed is on the car. Necessary batteries charging can also be announced with mobile phone terminals. It is also announced that a company supplying lithium batteries "Automotive Energy Supply" is planning increase in production capacity. The production capacity is going to increase by 36,000 sets until November to 90,000 sets. Increased amounts will be provided to Renault. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun June 12, 2010]

(4) Applied Energy Technology Research Institute
@The research institute in Utsunomiya city is going to exhibit EV quick charging system. Electric power obtained from solar cells and FC is stored and this power is used to supply to multiple EV at the same time. For 5 min.80% of battery capacity can be charged, and about 10 different EV like large buses and general cars can be accepted. The company actively makes proposition to car makers and power companies for real use. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) May 2, 2010]

(5) Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. and Tesla
@On June 11, 2010 two companies had a cooperative development meeting consisted of Tesla Motors, and Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. It was made clear that it will make a new trial car, with Tesla system on Toyota conventional body. Running performances will be examined within this year at earliest time. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun June 12, 2010]

(6) Mitsubishi Motor Co., Ltd.,
@In 2012 fiscal year the company will reduce the price of EV by 30% and make the real price 2 million yen including the subsidy. Assuming business uses, it sold FCV at the price 4.599 million yen in July of 2009. Since April of 2010 by about 620,000 yen was reduced and thus considering the governmental subsidy, the price was reduced to 2.84 million yen. The largest cost is lithium ion batteries and a new factory started operation since April. The annual production becomes 70,000 sets. By the mass production effect, the cost of the batteries of 2.5 million yen will be reduced to 1 million yen. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun June 18, 2010]

7. Technology Development and Business of Hydrogen Production and Purification
(1) IDEX Co. Ltd.
@On June 2, 2010 Shin-IDEX Kosan Co., Ltd. and Fukuoka City signed agreement on plant installation site in "Oomuta Eco-Town", which is a commercial plant to produce@hydrogen from wood chips @The total facility cost is about 2.1 billion yen and the company intends to start operation in the spring of 2012. According to the company, construction waste and thinly cut-down tree waste are thermally decomposed and formed gas is purified From 15 ton of wood per day about 7200 m3 pure hydrogen is formed. [The Nishinihon Shimbun June 3, 2010 and The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) June 4, 2010.

(2) National Institute for Material Science
@The above institute in Tsukuba city found material which promotes a kind of photosynthesis reaction artificially at as high efficiency as usual plants. It is photo-catalytic material called silver phosphate. General photo-catalytic material, like titanium dioxide promotes reactions only by ultraviolet light and its efficiency is low. Using silver phosphate, reaction occurs by visible light of 420 nm wave length at high efficiency of about 90%. It is said that photosynthesis efficiency of plant is about 93%. In photo-synthesis oxygen is formed together with hydrogen simultaneously, but if the above two reactions could be combined, the new material can promote to real use, for instance hydrogen production by sunlight. [The Nihon Keizai Shimun June 8, 2010]

8. Technology Development and Business of Hydrogen Transport and Storage
@An English company, Ilica Technologies starts sale of new hydrogen storage alloys developed by themselves early within this 2 - 3 years. Already the mass production process has been developed together with Japanese and Taiwan companies. Until now the activity of the company was mainly in R&D, but since now it will carry out business in Japan. Projects now going on are catalysts for FC, high throughput process etc. New materials can be developed in short time; 1/10 - 1/100 compared with conventional developments. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) June 9, 2010]

9. AFC Electrolyte Membrane
@Tokuyama Corp. in Shunan city is going to construct a trial production line of electrolyte membrane in Tokuyama work. The trial line is in a scale of annual production of 10,000 m3, and the varieties of the membranes are anion type, which does not need platinum and other noble metals, and that for direct methanol type FC. For anion type electrolyte membrane, it is characteristic point that metals like nickel can be used. The output realized by AFC is 465 mW/cm2 at the maximum. Based on their ion exchange membrane technology for soda business, they intend to realize low price. At present main products are emergency power sources, and in the future there might be possibility that it would be used in automobiles. For the company main growing business is poly-crystalline silicon, and in addition to this FC business would become important. Accumulating experimental data, the company is developing it by cooperation with power source makers. [The Chugoku Shimbun May 20, 2010]

10. Development of DEFC (Direct Ethanol Type FC
@Konting Eye (Gifu city) developed DEFC system using bio-ethanol. In August of 2010 1 kW output FC is going to be operated in trial at a model house in Shiga prefecture.. This is one of DEFC. Electrons and hydrogen ions are taken out, when ethanol and water (1 to: 9) are reacted Intermediate substances accumulated on the electrode tends to be cause for output decrease. They are decomposed with catalysts to increase power efficiency. The company has technology to produce bio-ethanol from dried lawn, paper etc. Problem to supply these had been solved. Since now, the company will improve electrolyte membrane and optimization of ethanol concentration, and they will increase the output to 3 kW, which is necessary in electric power consumption peak. Technology will be transferred to a machine trading company, Idaka & Co. Ltd. (Nagoya city), which will make design, development and sell the products. The price is estimated about 2 million yen. The first one will be installed at 150 houses in Shiga prefecture under construction by Nishimura Kensetsu Co., Ltd. In the area a bio-ethanol producing plant by technology of Konting Eye will be installed. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) June 15, 2010]

11. Development of Bio-FC
(1) Tokyo University
@Prof. Hashimoto and his group succeeded in power generation by feeding iron ion. Comparing with a case when the bacteria were not fed, over hundred times larger current occurs. The bacteria eat food and mineral is formed (bio-mineralization). The mineral forms iron ion and thiosulfate are prepared in this electrochemical cell, iron reducing bacteria, Schewanella was added. Microscope observation and current measurement were done along the time. After 5 hours since addition of the bacteria, the current was observed and precipitate of iron sulfide was observed. Repeating addition of lactic bacteria, the maximum current of 120 micron A was recorded after about 80 hours since the bacteria addition. The bio-FC is inferior to other FC. in energy conversion efficiency. The task is efficiency of anode to take electrons efficiently to the anode. [The Nihon Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) May 26, 2010]

(2) Tokyo University of Agriculture and Industry
@Prof. Ono in the above university succeeded in taking out cellulose from bio-bran like wheat in the room temperature. The whole time needed is several hours, and when it is heated at 50Ž it is about 30 minutes. Because heating is not essential, cellulose can be obtained at low cost and energy consumption. This technology would be connected with fuel cells using bio-mass. Prof. Ono investigated combined ionic liquids and synthesized 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazorium phosphite - Into this ionic liquid bran is added and mixed. Taking the upper clear solution and then adding ethanol cellulose was precipitated. The ionic liquid and ethanol can be reused by distillation. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun May 22, 2010]

12. Development and Sales of Components and Auxiliary Devices
(1) Kikuchi Seisakusyo
@The above company in Hachioji city developed a micro-pump for FC and its price is several hundred yen, 1/4 of the latest. It is made of layered stainless steel foil, .and its material cost is 1/10 lower that that of a microphone made of silicon. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun June 4, 2010]

(2) Kyoshin Technology
@The above company in Kadoma city developed a channel type brush for FC and solar cells (cleaning micro-components.) Unique point is to use new fiber of acryl resin, "COREBRID B" newly developed fine fiber of 0.03 mm diameter developed by Mitsubishi Rayon. Comparing with fine fiber of 0.05 - 0.08 mm, fiber enters fine slits and similar places, so that static electricity is hard to form and it becomes clean. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) June 15, 2010]

(3) Taiyo Stainless Spring
@The above company in Tokyo prefecture is going to begin new business, and making full use of know how and machining technology, separators will be supplied to users according to users' specifications. Already the company developed thin separators for analysis and checks. The company will concentrate to expand new business. Newly developed thin separators for test and development was made by wire cut machining to get thin separators of 0.2 - 1.0 mm thickness. Comparing conventional ones, similar characteristic is kept and productivity is increasing. [The Chemical Daily June, 2010]


------------ This edition is made up as of June 24, 2010. ---------------