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.
Solar Cell and Solar Energy Systems
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-Efficiency Polymer-Based Solar Cells
Professor, Hiroshima University
Organic solar cells based on semiconducting polymers, "plastic" solar cells, are expected to be a technology with low-cost and low-enviromental impact. In this project, we will create new high-performance semiconducting polymers by controlling their electronic and ordering structures, and aim at the energy converion efficiency of 15% which has not been achieved for "plastic" solar cells.
Professor, The University of Tokyo
“Superconducting systems,” which utilize the zero electrical resistance of superconductors, represent an area of technology in which substantial energy savings can bring about decreased carbon emission in a wide range of fields including electric power, transportation, industries, and computing.
In the field of electric power, for example, research and development of technologies including on superconductive power generators, superconductive electrical cables, and superconductive energy storage units, is being carried out. Superconductive instrument systems including cooling systems may be realized in the future, which would result in great changes to conventional electric device systems. Superconductive motors and magnets, combined with various advanced elemental technologies, may also be able to greatly improve the efficiency of energy devices.
Development of REBCO Fully Superconducting Rotary Machines
Professor, Kyushu University
We will conduct the research and development of fully superconducting rotating machines using REBCO coated conductors (CCs.). Applying our original technologies for reduction of ac losses as well as for enhancement of electric current capacity of conductors using plural pieces of REBCO CCs to the armature windings for rotating machines, we will first develop the superconducting armature winding technologies with low AC loss characteristics and a large current capacity. Combination of this superconducting armature with rotating REBCO superconducting field windings makes it possible to install the both windings into the same casing resulting in reduction of the gap distance and constitute it as a compact superconducting synchronous rotating machine of high output power density and the high efficiency. This rotating machine will bring us the realization of the “low-carbon society” through effective energy savings.
Electric Storage Devices
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.
Development of Graphene-Based Carbon Materials for High-Rate Perfomance and High-Capacity Negative Electrode of Lithium Ion Battery
Professor, University of Hyogo
A novel carbon material "graphene like graphite (GLG)" showing high-rate performance, high capacity and low irreversible capacity will be prepared from the pyrolysis of graphite oxide. When it is used as a negative electrode of lithium ion battery, EV and PHEV will be more widely available, which result in the reduction of CO2 emission.
Ultra Heat-Resistant Materials and High Quality Recyclable Steel
Honarable Researcher, National Institute for Materials Science
Decreasing the carbon dioxide emissions of the power generation, metal, and transportation industries, which emit large quantities of greenhouse gas, is an urgent issue for achieving a low carbon society. Carbon dioxide emissions must be decreased through improved energy efficiency by improving the performance of heat-resistant materials that are used for power generation turbines, jet engines for airplanes, and other applications. To achieve this, ALCA aims to develop technologies to substantially improve the properties of these materials, such as their high-temperature strength, room-temperature resilience, oxidation resistance, as well as technologies for their production and heat-resistant coating.
In addition, other research subjects include establishing manufacturing technologies for high-strength and high-performance materials from recycled raw materials, in order decrease the energy consumption of recycling, and the creation of structure-control to realize high performance while decreasing the amount of rare metals to be added.
Furthermore, ALCA will develop innovative metal and ceramic materials for the manufacture of lighter and stronger materials, in order to produce lighter transportation equipment that consumes less energy.
Research on Innovative Heat Resistant Super-Alloy Powder for AM Component Applied to Next-Generation Gas Turbine Hot Parts
Manager, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd.
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
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.
High Temperature Materials Based on Multi-Element BCC Solid Solutions
Professor, Hokkaido University
A new class of high temperature materials will be developed for reducing the CO2 gas emission from the LNG power plant. BCC alloys mainly based on various elements will be explored for the matrix of the composite alloys with various compounds for obtainng high strength, high toughness and high oxidation resistance.
Professor, Kobe University
From the view point of energysaving 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
Associate Professor, Hiroshima University
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
Assistant professor, Kyoto University
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
Professor, Tokushima University
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
Professor, Saitama University
Genetic Engineering of Cyanobacterial Transcriptional Regulators and Circadian Clocks for Succinate Production
Associate professor, Meiji University
Bio-based succinate is a promising feedstock for the substitution of fossil fuels. Cyanobacteria are a group of bacteria performing oxygenic photosynthesis. In this study, we perform genetic engineering of cyanobacterial transcriptional regulators and circadian clocks for succinate production. Metabolomic approaches are important for clarifying the metabolic status of cyanobacteria to improve the productivity of succinate.
Multidimensional Improvement of Plant Biomass Productivity Based on Artificially Induced Heterosis Technology
Team Leader, RIKEN
In plants, interspecies hybridization and polyproidization of genomes often produce “hybrid” species with wider adoptability and a greater potential than parents. Our aim is understanding molecular mechanisms of hybrid vigor in plants by combinatorial approaches of computational biology and genome biology. Then, we will apply the molecular basis of hybrid vigor to develop “artificially induced heterosis technology” to improve plant productivity. Using the technology, we would improve plant biomass productivity, and contribute to resource and energy developments to reduce CO2 emission.
Innovative Energy-Saving and Energy-Producing Chemical Processes
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.
Energy-Saving CO2 Capture Process with Phase Separation Solvent
Assistant professor, 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.
Application of Internal Condensation Reactor System for Highly Efficient Methanol Synthesis Process
Professor, Shimane University
A novel internal condensation reactor system will be applied for highly efficient methanol synthesis process from syngas. The system can release the thermodynamical limit to give high one-pass conversion. It is also applicable for direct conversion of carbon dioxide to methanol by hydrogenation with high yield to reduce green house gas.
Depolymerization of Lignocellulose Catalyzed by Activated Carbons
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.
Innovative Energy-Saving and Energy-Producing Systems and Devices
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.
Development of High-Efficiency Vertical Deep-UV LED Becoming the Substitute of Germicidal Mercury Lamps
Chief Scientist, 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
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
Innovative Low-Temperature and High-Speed Growth Process for High-Quality SiC Single Crystal Films
Professor, Tohoku University
This project aims at development of the innovative atmospheric vapor source liquid phase epitaxy, in which the flux additive is regarded as a kind of catalyst in such a chemical process, and thereby the low-temperature and high-speed growth technique for high-quality SiC will be established under precise control of its polytypes. As the result, the expecting low power-loss devices of SiC, instead of the existing Si-based ones, ensure high efficiency use of energy in our society with smart grid technology.