Game-Changing Technology Area

“Game-Changing Technology Area” were newly established at the same time as the Enabling Technology project and were launched in fiscal 2015. Promising issues not ready for transfer to the Enabling Technology project will be incubated in these “Game-Changing Technology Area”. The projects were currently promoted with 19 issues in fiscal 2017.

Atsuhiro Osuka

Atsuhiro Osuka
Professor, Kyoto University

Solar energy use, including solar cells, has already prevailed in the society as one of the extremely promising technologies for renewable energy. Competing with the commercial Si-based solar cell module technologies, we wish to further develop the solar cell and solar energy utilizing system which are addressed in ALCA.
Specifically, the project is to be subjected for development of the solar cell with high energy conversion efficiency (compared with the conventional solar cell), production of new materials for solar cells, creation of manufacturing process of low cost solar cells such as large surface manufacturing technology, and development of a solar energy utilizing system integrated with these technologies. Especially, we are going to promote the research and development in perovskite solar cells, which were first reported by Miyasaka et al. in Japan and have been addressed in the ALCA Tech. Area. In addition, we also aim to develop other innovative solar thermal energy technology.


Development of High Performance and Environmentally Friendly Perovskite Type Solar Cells

Atsushi Wakamiya
Accociate Professor, Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University

Development of High Performance and Environmentally Friendly Perovskite Type Solar Cells

The ultimate objective of this project is the generation of environmentally friendly high-performance perovskite-type solar cells. For this purpose, a series of promising Pb-free peroviskite-type semiconductors will be developed, whereby particular focus is placed on highly pure materials. Taking advantage of their intrinsic advantageous characteristics, i.e., low fabrication costs, light weight, and flexibility, it should be possible to establish such solar cells as an alternative renewable energy source, which would contribute substantially to the reduction of carbon emission levels and thus make society more sustainable.


Development of High Efficiency Silicon-Based Tandem Solar Cells Using Silicon-Based Nanomaterials

Yasuyoshi Kurokawa
Lecturer, Graduate school of engineering, Nagoya university

Development of high efficiency silicon-based tandem solar cells using silicon- based nanomaterials

We will develop high quality silicon quantum dots (QDs) solar cells for the application to the all silicon tandem solar cells. Si is an abundant and non-toxic material and the bandgap of a Si QD can be tuned by controlling its diameter. The Si QD is a promising material for tandem cells. However, energy conversion efficiency of Si QD cells is not enough yet. We will develop ①high quality Si QDs absorber・②Doped Si QDs layer・③transparent conductive thin films with high temperature tolerance. These developments will contribute to drastic efficiency improvement of Si QD cells.


Development of High Efficiency Silicon/Perovskite Two-Terminal Tandem Solar Cells

Takeshi Noda
Group Leader, Photovoltaic Materials Unit, National Institute for Materials Science

We develop high efficiency two-terminal solar cells consisting of a silicon bottom cell and a perovskite top cell. By minimizing optical and electrical losses at an interfacial layer connecting the two cells and developing perovskite solar cells with high transparency for long-wavelength light and high open-circuit voltage, we aim for solar cells with the efficiency exceeding that of single-junction silicon solar cells.

Hiroyuki Ohsaki

Hiroyuki Ohsaki
Professor, The University of Tokyo

The “superconductive system” is a promising low-carbon technology utilizing the characteristic that the DC electrical resistivity is really zero. It is greatly expected to realize a low-carbon society with drastic energy-saving and to develop novel functions leading to low carbon technologies in various fields such as electricity, transportation, industry, information and so on.
For example, in the electricity field the research and development has so far been conducted in superconductive generators, superconductive electricity cables, superconductive energy storage devices and so on. If their outcomes solve the technological bottlenecks in the superconductive equipment system including cooling functions in the future, the superconductive technologies will have wide range of possibilities of changing the existing electric equipment systems. In addition to technological possibilities of the superconductive motor, it is also possible to achieve far higher efficiency of the energy equipment systems by utilizing high magnetic field superconductive magnets, and by combining it with each cutting-edge elemental technology.
In this ALCA Tech. Area of superconductive systems, we are addressing element technologies for superconductive systems and new conceptual technologies combining with other technologies. They will be adopted by superconductive systems which widely contribute to GHG reduction.


Development of Cryogen Circulation Pump for Cooling of High Temperature Superconducting Power Device

Kazuhiro Kajikawa
Associate Professor, Research Institute of Superconductor Science and Systems, Kyushu University

Development of cryogen circulation pump for cooling of high temperature superconducting power device

Cooling systems required for high temperature superconducting (HTS) power devices are not in a realizable stage yet. In this study, a cryogen pump composed of cryogenic magnetic bearings and a superconducting motor is developed to support directly the installation of HTS power devices in the near future. A circulation cooling system with high efficiency, energy saving and low carbon emission is also constructed by using the fabricated cryogen pump and the existing cryocooler, heat exchanger, etc. Not only liquid nitrogen but also liquid hydrogen is focused on as target cryogens for circulation cooling systems.


System of Superconducting Rotating Machines for Transport Equipments that Supports Low Carbon Society

Taketsune Nakamura
Associate Professor, Kyoto University

This proposal is based upon the system of high-temperature superconducting induction/synchronous machines of which pioneering studies have been conducted by the Kyoto University and AISIN SEIKI Co., Ltd.-academic group. The team is to make the overwhelming high functionality for the existing machines the ultimate and develop electric drive transport equipments that support low carbon society. In concrete, with the use of aforementioned rotating machine system, realization of de-rare earth components, optimization of variable speed, and practical direct drive transport equipments are executed, and then innovative low carbonization is defined clearly.

Tetsuya Osaka

Tetsuya Osaka
Professor Emeritus, Senior Research Professor, Waseda University

It is requested to further spread Electric Vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy generation for reducing GHG emission. For example, in order to improve the cruising distance of EVs, the electricity storage device has to provide both higher energy density and higher power. In addition, as the power generation based on the renewable energy increases, the stationary electricity storage devices become more necessary for stabilizing the short-term fluctuation load in the electricity system. In this ALCA Tech. Area, we are promoting the R&D for the innovative electricity storage device as the key technologies.
Until now, we have been promoting R&D of various game changing technologies such as the battery, electrical capacitor, and fuel cell. Especially, with regard to the battery, some PIs have been transferred to the ALCA top-down proposal type technology area, “ALCA-SPRING” through the stage gate evaluation. Besides battery technology, we have been promoting research on the structure-property relationship of the carbon-based material which are keys to electricity storage devices such as the battery system, cathode material, anode material, electrolytic solution, graphene, graphene-like graphite, carbon alloy catalyst and so on. We will go forward towards further improvement of the performance of electricity storage devices from now on, considering the property needed in the context of social implementation.


Development of Intercalation Pseudocapacitors

Masashi Okubo
Associate Professor, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

Development of Intercalation Pseudocapacitors

Development of high-performance electrochemical energy storage devices is highly desired because of strong demands for their wide spread use in a smart grid. Although electrochemical capacitors are promising owing to the high power density, at present, the energy density is too low for practical application. This project develops electrochemical capacitors that achieve both the high power and the high energy densities, using intercalation pseudocapacitor electrodes.


Development of Metal Hydride/Air Secondary Battery

Masatsugu Morimitsu
Professor, Doshisha University

This project aims to develop a metal hydride/air secondary battery consisting of a metal hydride electrode, an alkaline solution, and a bi-functional air electrode, in which electric energy is stored with water decomposition and is generated with water production. Water is the only active mass of this battery, providing a potential of high safety even with an increase in energy density, which is quite different from other types of secondary batteries. One of the targets in this project is to achieve a high energy density over 1500 Wh/L or 500 Wh/kg which is impossible to realize with lithium ion secondary batteries.

Kohmei Halada

Kohmei Halada
Adviser, National Institute for Materials Science

Towards realizing a low carbon society, it is indispensable to develop technology and systems with high efficiency energy utilization. Also, it is an urgent issue to reduce GHG emission especially in the fields of electricity generation, metallurgy-based industry and transportation with huge emission. Far higher energy efficiency can be achieved by drastically improving the characteristics of the high-temperature resistant materials used for steam and gas turbines for thermal power generation plants, jet engines and so on. Further, through such higher energy efficiency, we are aiming at drastic improvement of heat resistant materials with high temperature strength, toughness at room temperature, oxidation resistance, a long life and so forth, and establishment of its manufacturing technologies and innovative thermal barrier coating.
In addition, we are also developing the manufacturing technologies for higher specific strength materials based on recycled or depleted materials, and creation of structural control technology for higher strength with less rare metal in the scope of a large reduction of the energy consumption in recycling.
Further, we are addressing the development, the design and manufacturing technologies for innovative metallic materials and ceramic materials being both light-weight and having improved strength that can greatly reduce the energy consumption of transportation equipment.


Research on Innovative Heat Resistant Super-Alloy Powder for AM Component Applied to Next-Generation Gas Turbine Hot Parts

Takeshi Izumi
Manager, R&D center, Thermal power systems research department, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd.

Research on innovative heat resistant super-alloy powder for AM component applied to next-generation gas turbine hot parts

In order to improve efficiency of gas turbine, application of cooling systems with complex shape which are impossible to be made through conventional method by utilizing additive manufacturing (AM) have been considering.
However, AM components made of current Ni based super-alloy exhibits insufficient creep strength at elevated temperature due to the effect of oxidation and nitridization during processing, and impossible to be used for high-temperature part in gas turbine.
In this project, aiming to develop innovative heat resistant Ni based super-alloy powder for high strength AM component, search for alternative element to replace easily-oxidizable Al, Ti which consist γ’ strengthening phase and robust alloy design to increase oxygen and nitrogen tolerance based on phase equilibrium to be conducted.


Development of Robust Additive-Manufactured Nickel Superalloy for Impurity Contamination

Koji Kakehi
Professor,Tokyo Metropolitan University

The specific surface of a powder is much larger than that of bulk, therefore superalloy powder is susceptible to oxidation and nitridation that can deteriorate the properties of additive-manufactured part. To tackle this problem, we aim to develope technologies to (i) produce robust superalloy powder in order to reduce the contamination by oxygen and nitrogen, (ii) refine contaminated powder and (iii) clean up additive-manufactured process.

Development of robust additive-manufactured nickel superalloy for impurity contamination
BIG_photo:Development of robust additive-manufactured nickel superalloy for impurity contamination

Akihiko Kondo

Akihiko Kondo
Professor, Kobe University

From the view point of energy-saving such as carbon neutral and bioprocess with the advanced technologies in various domains of biotechnology, we are contributing to a large reduction of GHG emission. Specifically, we cover the research and development of carbon fixation technology by biomass plant breeding, biomass conversion technology, direct conversion technology of CO2, and other conversion technologies of various organic resources. We also promote the interdisciplinary research and development based on microbial science, plant science and bioprocessing science, which goes beyond the conventional framework.


Development of a Robust and Biologically Contained Culturing Method of Microalgae Using Phosphite

Ryuichi Hirota
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Advanced Sciences of Matter, Hiroshima University

Development of a robust cultivation method of microalgae using phosphite

Most organisms can not assimilate phosphite with a phosphorus oxidation state of +3. In this project, we will develop a robust and selective cultivation method of microalgae using phosphite dehydrogenase. Furthermore, we will apply this method to biocontainment that makes algae growth and survival dependent on phosphite.


Development of Nitrifying Bacteria Cultivation Methods and Designed Nitrifying Microbial Consortia Useful for Organic Hydroponics

Akinori Ando
Assistant professor, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University

Development of nitrifying bacteria cultivation methods and designed nitrifying microbial consortia useful for organic hydroponics

Carbon dioxide fixation in plant is maximized by abundant nitrogen supply. So far, chemical fertilizers have been used for crop cultivation though it's production needed large amount of energy. In this study, we focus on the role nitrifying bacteria plays in the natural nitrogen cycle and attempt to develop it's cultivation methods and control the complex nitrifying microbial system. In the future, this developed technology could be applied to beneficial use of unused organic resources, soil improvement and design of artificial soil, resulting in carbon reduction.


Development of a New Bio-Lipid Platform for Free Fatty Acids with Backbone Compounds

Eiji Sakuradani
Professor, Graduate School of Bioscience and Bioindustry, Tokushima University

Development of a new bio-lipid platform for free fatty acids with backbone compounds

In this research, we try to develop a new lipid production method by the analysis of metabolic profiles and the breeding of microorganisms. In cooperation with the chemical industry, we aim to contribute to society by converting the lipids obtained in the bio-lipid platform to chemical products, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by by realizing a small impact of bio-lipid platform on the environment.


The Plant Breeding Revolution through the Development of Artificial Apomixis Induction Technique

Masaru Takagi
Professor, Graduate school of Science and Engineering, Saitama University

Apomixis is a phenomenon that generates seeds without fertilization.The resulting seeds are maternally-inherited clones. In this project, based on our study of transcription factors. We are to develop a system to induce apomixis in various plants including crops.

Takashi Tatsumi

Takashi Tatsumi
President, National Institute of Technology and Evaluation

On the basis of chemistry, we are going to conduct the research for development of game-changing low carbon technology. We cover the research and development for chemical processes that can create a paradigm shift and pave a way to realize a low carbon society while greatly reducing CO2 emission. Specifically, we promote cutting-edge research and technical development such as energy-saving technology for manufacturing chemical products with efficient conversion technology from biomass into chemicals and fuels, and new CO2 separating technology with low energy and cost, long-term CO2 fixation technology and so on.


Flammable Gas Recovery Technology for Oil and Gas Production

Izumi Ichinose
Deputy Director, Research Center for Functional Materials, National Institute for Materials Science

Flammable Gas Recovery Technology for Oil and Gas Production

Massive methane gas is emitted from oil and gas fields, and the volume is equivalent to the total emission volume of greenhouse gases in Japan. We develop a new water treatment process for the separation of colloidal oil in produced water, as an alternative technology of gas flotation (a main cause of methane emission). For this purpose, we design new polymer adsorbents that can capture BTX, C5+, and low boiling point hydrocarbons, improve the robustness of the adsorbents, and develop the mass production process.


Energy-Saving CO2 Capture Process with Phase Separation Solvent

Hiroshi Machida
Assistant professor, Graduate school of Engineering, Nagoya University

Carbon dioxide capture and storage is regarded as a promissing technology for the global worming problem. We propose a novel CO2 absorption solvent that separates into two liquid phases after CO2 absorption. It enables us to reduce the CO2 separation energy by sending olny the CO2 rich phase to desorption column.


Depolymerization of Lignocellulose Catalyzed by Activated Carbons

Atsushi Fukuoka
Professor, ICAT, Hokkaido University

We will develop new processes for the production of chemicals by depolymerization of lignocellulosic biomass catalyzed by activated carbons, which contribute to CO2 emissions reduction in our society. Inexpensive carbon materials are used as catalysts and we aim for the synthesis of valuable pentoses and hexoses from cellulose and hemicellulose in real biomass. Lignocellulose will be totally used by converting lignin into catalyst or fuel. We will also study the structure-activity relationship in catalysis and utilize it in the design of new catalysts.

Kenji Taniguchi

Kenji Taniguchi
Special appointed professor, Osaka University

We are going to conduct the research and development of advanced technology based on physics. We address a wide range of problems from new conceptual research to technological development aimed at social implementation. Taking into consideration the social return as outcomes of energy-saving or energy-creating technologies, we promote them. Specifically, we cover research and development which has great potential to reduce GHG emission such as an innovative power device system and ultra-low loss technology for the existing system.


High Frequency GaN Power Module System Integration

Katsuaki Suganuma
Professor, The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Osaka University

High frequency GaN power module system integration

GaN power devices are expected to reduce the loss in electric energy conversion at the same time of shrinkage of module size by high frequency. Currently, the bottle neck is in the luck of heat resistant packaging beyond 200 ºC. Here we break through this issue by Ag sinter joining and maximize the GaN potential for the next generation of power devices. The developed thermal stress relaxation, non-destractive inspection and noise reduction technology with the aid of basic science and simulation will open a opportunity for the wide application of GaN power devices.


Development of High-Efficiency Vertical Deep-UV LED Becoming the Substitute of Germicidal Mercury Lamps

Hideki Hirayama
Chief Scientist, Quantum Optodevice Laboratory, RIKEN

The use of deep ultraviolet light is attracting much attention for a wide variety of applications, such as sterilization, water purification, medicine and biochemistry, and so on. However, the production of present germicidal mercury lamps will be much supressed in near future because of their large environmental load. In this project, we will develop high-efficiency deep-UV LEDs becoming the substitute of germicidal mercury lamps. We contribute to low-carbon society realization by a significant reduction of the electricity loss of deep-UV LED.


Development of Magnetic Heat Pump with Layered Active Magnetic Regenerator

Tsuyoshi Kawanami
Associate Professor, Meiji University

A magnetic heat pump is an innovative ""green heat pump"" technology that is based on the entropy change caused by a change in the magnetic field in a particular kind of magnetic material. Further, it is an environment-friendly system that does not use chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a refrigerant. In order to achieve the practical use of the magnetic heat pump and enhance the performance of its application, the research related with the following challenges are conducted in this project:
(i) a design of layered active magnetic regenerator;
(ii) a development of quantity synthesis process with Mn-based compound; and
(iii) a development of kilowatt-class magnetic heat pump

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