Green Transformation Initiative at Tokyo Tech, Tokyo Tech GXI

"The 2nd, Year 2023 GXI seminar
「Wild KUUKAI" - WhyBuddhist monk was a civil engineer」"
Lecturer: Prof. Takeshi Nakajima
Belongings: Institute for Liberal Arts, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Date: 16:00-17:20, May 29, 2023
Place: Bld. N1, 1F Conf. Room + Zoom (HyFlex)
Abstract: “KUUKAI”, a Buddhist monk lived in early Heian period of Japan, who is known as the founder of Shingon Sect, was also a civil engineer who directed the repairs of Manno Lake. Why was the Buddhist monk related to the base layer in the history of civil engineering in Japan? Why was it possible for him to complete such difficult construction project? We can get a hint for its answer in the philosophy of Lévi-Strauss, a cultural anthropologist who advocated the structuralism. He showed in his representative writing, “Wild Thinking”, the horizon where the knowledge structure of primitive society that is different from the modern rationalism merges with the latest advanced science. Today, which is called as “Anthropocene”, I will consider the methods of knowledge how people should manage the nature on the basis of the esoteric Buddhism provided by KUUKAI.
"The 1st, Year 2023 GXI seminar
「Outlook for the world energy market and the challenges for Japan」"
Lecturer: Prof. Ken Koyama
Belongings: ZC
Date: 16:00-17:20, April 18, 2023
Place: N1 Conf. Room + Zoom (HyFlex)
Abstract: Outlook for the world energy market was overviewed and the challenges for Japan was discussed.
"The 8th GXI seminar
「Regional Research Coalition Action Toward Decarbonized Society System Implementation」"
Lecturer: Prof. Tsuyoshi Fujita
Belongings: ZC
Date: 16:00-17:20, February 27, 2023
Place: N1 Conf. Room + Zoom (HyFlex)
Abstract: Discussions on the transition to a decarbonized society are becoming more serious globally and in Japan. While dynamic development green energy systems are important to achieve decarbonization, strategic goals setting for the regional future both from socio-economic, transportation and industrial stakeholders to achieve both regional revitalization and decarbonization. The research reports the evaluation and planning system for regional revitalization scenarios from the perspectives of both current situation assessment and future estimation. Industrial and energy scenarios that promote regional economic cycles and decarbonization that are consistent with current assessments will be developed by identifying industries with high economic benefits when introduced and calculating the introduction potential of renewable energy through an inter-industry analysis. As electricity supply from renewable energy sources fluctuates greatly over time, the hourly fluctuations in electricity supply and demand will be quantified, and future assessments of CO2 emissions and electricity supply and demand will be also conducted.
"The 7th GXI seminar
「Chemical Production using Water and Power」"
Lecturer: Prof. Ichiro Yamanaka
Belongings: School of Materials and Chemical Technology
Date: 6:00-17:20, December 5, 2022
Place: N1 Conf. Room + Zoom (HyFlex)
Abstract: Electrochemical potentials function powerful reductant and oxidant. 1.0 V potential corresponds to 96485 J mol–1 energy, that is to apply a powerful energy about 100 kJ mol-1 into chemical reactions. Oxidation and reduction can be proceeded by using water and power (potential) without using special organic peroxide compounds or metal hydride compounds. When this property of potential is applied for electro-synthesis using Solid-Polymer-Electrolyte and new electrocatalysts, electroreduction of CO2, synthesis of organic hydride compound and many worth chemical syntheses in industry can be realized. The SPE electrolysis using water and power should be essential chemical technology to replace the thermal chemical processes to electrochemical processes.
"The 6th GXI seminar
「Life: Sustainability of 4 billion years」"
Lecturer: Prof. Kan Tanaka
Belongings: Laboratory for Chemistry and Life Science Institute of Innovative Research
Date: 16:00-17:20, Oct. 18, 2022
Place: N1 Conf. Room + Zoom (HyFlex)
Abstract: Life on Earth began about 4 billion years ago and has continued uninterruptedly since then. As with most systems, life is fundamentally supported by energy, and a stable supply of bioenergy has always been a major issue in sustaining life. During the long evolution, life began with a primitive reaction system of H2 and CO2, acquired various energy generation methods such as oxidation of organic matter, photosynthetic reaction, etc., and used them properly in a varied natural environment. Life has achieved a stable energy supply system. The surplus energy obtained is stored as a reserve, and when there is a shortage, energy is taken out from it, and at the same time, the cell itself is transformed into a low-energy-consuming system. This time, overview of such precise biological control was told and the conditions necessary for permanent system design was discussed.
"The 5th GXI seminar
「Hydrogen production and utilization from renewable energy
〜Development of anion exchange membrane water electrolysis and polymer electrolyte fuel cell〜」"
Lecturer: Prof. Takeo Yamaguchi
Belongings: Laboratory for Chemistry and Life Science Institute of Innovative Research
Date: 16:00-17:20, September 26, 2022
Place: W9 Digital Multi-Purpose Hall + Zoom
Abstract: For large scale use of renewable energy, hydrogen society is necessary to overcome supply and demand mismatch in time and space. In the water electrolysis and fuel cells, different components such as membrane, catalysts, and catalyst layer share significant functions and work in a well-coordinated manner, and the total cell system must be optimized for the best performance. The necessity of hydrogen society, and systematic design and developing approaches for anion exchange membrane water electrolysis and polymer-electrolyte fuel cells was discussed.
"The 4th GXI seminar「A heterogeneous catalyst to synthesize ammonia even at 50 ℃」"
Lecturer: Prof. Michikazu Hara
Belongings: Laboratory for Materials and Structures, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Date: 16:00-17:20, July 28, 2022
Place: Zoom
Abstract: Development of an improved catalyst was reported by taking the common dehydrating agent calcium hydride and adding fluoride to it. The catalyst facilitates the synthesis of ammonia at merely 50 °C, by using only half the energy that existing techniques require. This opens doors to ammonia production with low energy consumption and reduced greenhouse gas emission. Ammonia is one of the most important industrial chemicals today, synthesized globally for use in fertilizers that then enable food production for approximately 70 % of the world’s population. Ammonia is currently obtained by reacting nitrogen (N2) from air with hydrogen (H2). This reaction requires high energy and is, therefore, powered by fossil fuels, contributing to over 3 % of the global CO2 emissions.
"The 3rd GXI seminar「The Future of Small Modular Reactors」"
Lecturer: Prof. Toru Obara
Belongings: Laboratory for Zero-Carbon Energy, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Date: 16:30-18:00, June 29, 2022
Place: Zoom
Abstract: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) issued in 2020 introduces 72 SMR design concepts that are being developed around the world. Until now, power reactors have been developed and constructed to have high power output to be economically efficient (Large reactors). Smaller power reactors (Small reactors) have the advantages of high passive safety performance, which can ensure safety without active components, short construction period, and so on. On the other hand, small reactors are generally inferior to large reactors in terms of economic efficiency. The solution to this problem is the concept of the SMR, which standardizes the reactor design and reduces manufacturing and construction costs through factory production. In this lecture, the characteristics of SMRs, their current development status, and their future were reviewed.
"The 2nd GXI seminar「Future of storage batteries as social infrastructure」"
Lecturer: Prof. Hajime Arai
Belongings: Department of Chemical Science and Engineering, School of Materials and Chemical Technology/
Research Center for All-Solid-State Battery, Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Date: 17:30-19:00, May 26, 2022
Place: Zoom
Abstract: Storage batteries has been used for vehicle starters, emergency backup and power sources for portable devices. Today, they are applied in electric vehicles and storage of electricity derived from renewable energy resources with increasing the production quantity, behaving like a society infrastructure. This talk describes how several kinds of batteries (lead-acid, nickel-metal-hydride, lithium-ion) are used, based on the requirements for these batteries, together with their issues and potentials. Other batteries are also introduces including redox-flow, sodium-sulfur, all-solid-state and metal-air batteries.
"The 1st GXI Seminar「Crisis in Ukraine and Global Energy Situation」"
Lecturer: Prof. Ken Koyama
Belongings: Laboratory for Zero-Carbon Energy Tokyo Institute of Technology/IEEJ
Date: 6:45-18:00, April 19, 2022
Place: Zoom
Abstract: Crisis in Ukraine and Global Energy Situation was lectured including global energy security.