Toyota-led consortium reaches > 50 % net maximum thermal efficiency in both gasoline and diesel cars
A Japanese R&D consortium under the Japanese Agency of Science Technology and led by Toyota estimates that even in 2040, in spite of the advance of electric vehicles, internal combustion engines will be installed in about 89% of the world’s total cars, including hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Thus, the optimization of thermal efficiency of combustion motors remains an important target. Thermal efficiency was 30% in the 1970s and reached 40% over the last 40 years. The consortium has succeeded to improve thermal efficiency to over 50 % within just 5 years by the following measures: achieving high-speed spark combustion for gasoline engines, and super lean combustion (super lean burn) for diesel engines. In addition, technology was developed for reducing mechanical friction loss, technology for improving the efficiency of turbocharging systems, and technology for improving the efficiency of thermoelectric conversion systems by R&D for loss reduction common to both engines. As a result of integrating these technologies, the consortium now claims the highest net thermal efficiency of 51.5% for gasoline engines and 50.1% for diesel engines.
NEDO news release, January 16, 2019
Toyota-led consortium reaches > 50 % net maximum thermal efficiency in both gasoline and diesel cars
A Japanese R&D consortium under the Japanese Agency of Science Technology and led by Toyota estimates that even in 2040, in spite of the advance of electric vehicles, internal combustion engines will be installed in about 89% of the world's total cars, including...read more
The caterpillar larvae of bagworm moths (Tineoidea, jp. Minomushi) form bags f from silk and bamboo material. In collaboration with the National Agriculture Research Organization, Kowa Co. has managed to isolate long fibers from this network, without killing the...read more
NEDO has started a new program integrating former projects on microalgae biojet fuel (see: IHI and and biomass hydrothermal gasification with Showa Shell Oil, a company which commercializes jet fuel already. Partners will be 5 companies and the Japan Aerospace...read more
During a technical presentation, Kao presented a number of innovations including the finding that a wide variety of undegraded RNA can be isolated from sebum. Kao expects that this finding will help analyze early diseases such as atopic dermatitis even before symptoms...read more
The production capacity of the demonstration plant is 125 kL per year, and the manufacturing cost is about 10,000 yen/L. A commercial plant scheduled for 2025 will raise the production capacity 20 fold, aiming at 250,000 kL per year. Currently, raw material cost of...read more
On October 9, METI held a pitch contest on products designed to support aging people (“First Well-Aging Society Summit Asia-Japan”). The following eight companies were selected as finalists: GYENNO Technologies, Israel: electronic spoon "GYENNO SPOON" for patients...read more
Nagoya University group develops contact lens for self-sustained continuous blood glucose monitoring
Associate Professor Kiichi NIITSU of the Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University and his group have developed a miniaturized blood glucose sensor in form of a contact lens. It contains a solid-state element of 0.6 millimeter square that performs power...read more
In the concept car, which is jointly developed by Toray, Mitsubishi Chemical, Sumitomo Chemical, AGC, Bridgestone, polymers will constute 47 % of the car, reducing the vehicle weight to 850 kg. The car has an egg-shaped cabin and a separate front wheel cover, a large...read more
According to a survey by Nikkei Biotech, there are now seven cases of doctor-initiated clinical trials based in iPS cells in Japan. The most recent one is Jun Takahashi of CiRA’s clinical trial, in collaboration with Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, using heterologous...read more
A NEDO-supported consortium of Toshiba Energy Systems, Tohoku Electric Power and Iwatani Industry will establish by 2020 the "Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field" which manufactures and supplies up to 900 tons of hydrogen annually generated by 10,000 kW...read more
The app カラダわかるNavi („understand your body“) requests to enter daily diet and exercise records on a smartphone, then evaluates calorie intake and nutritional balance and provides advices on meal improvement and best time for next meal. Meal composition is analyzed by...read more
Japanese startup develops simple cancer pre-diagnosis using C. elegans, raises 1.4 billion yen (11 million €)
The N-NOSE test developed by Takuya HIROZU monitors if C. elegans roundworms evade or come closer to a drop of urine obtained from a test person. C. elegans has significantly more smell receptors than dogs and evades healthy urine but not the urine of cancer patients....read more
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Raman-based FACS and microfluidics allow for label-free sorting of over 1,000 microbial cells per second, application to astaxanthin production
The group of Kotaro HIRAMATSU at the University of Tokyo has combined Raman-based FACS with high-throughput microfluidics. In order to accelerate Raman spectroscopy, Fast Fourier Transform Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering Spectroscopy (Fast FT-CARS Method) was used which allows to measure about 24,000 broadband Raman spectra per second. If applied to nitrogen-depleted Hematococcus strains, the production of astaxanthin could be measured over time at the single cell level.
JST news release, January 17, 2018
CIS type thin-film solar cells which use copper (Cu), indium (In), selenium (Se) as a light absorbing layer are thinner than crystalline silicon type solar cells. Under a NEDO contract, the company prepared cells of about 1 cm2from this material, not containing cadmium, and reached 23.235 % energy conversion efficiency. Ongoing work on scaling this technology is considered a great step forward toward reducing the power generation costs of solar cells that combine the high performance and high reliability.
NEDO news release, January 17, 2019
Takara Bio reports good safety for treatment of unresectable pancreactic cancer using oncolytic virus C-REV
C-REV (former name HF10) showed good safety and excellent anti-tumor effect in combination with chemotherapy on primary treatment of 6 Japanese patients with unresectable advanced pancreatic cancer. These are intermediate results of a Phase I study.
Takara Bio news release, January 15, 2018
JAL’s biofuel is supplied by Showa Shell Sekiyu. For 2020, the company announced a charter flight with domestic biojet fuel made from clothing as a raw material. The fuel will be prepared from old cotton clothes collected throughout Japan through the Green Earth Institute Co. in Tokyo via an isobutanol route. ANA’s biojet fuel was manufactured by World Energy Co. from used edible oil from Los Angeles suburbs and also purchased from Showa Shell Sekiyu.
The aim is to convert stem cells into beta cells and using them as an alternative to lifelong insulin therapy for patients with type 1 diabetes.It has teamed up with a new company OiDE Beta Revive set-up by Tokyo Institute of Technology, with financial backing from Mitsubishi UFJ Capital.
Tokyo Institute of Technology news release, January 10, 2019
Team at Tokyo Institute of Technology improves synthesis of 2,5-furandicarboxylic aid (FDCA) using ß-manganese dioxide nanoparticles
FDCA is a promising raw material for the synthesis of polyethylene furanoate (PEF), a substitute of PET. It can be prepared by oxidation of glucose-derived 5-hydroxymethylfurfural using a Mn catalyst. The group of Michikazu Hara at TIT has developed an amorphous ß-MnO2 catalyst with a large surface area (nanoparticles) which showed a 3fold higher activity compared to MnO2 catalysts used earlier.
JST news release, January 7, 2019
LIMEX is a limestone-derived material which consosts of 60 % CaCO3 and 40 % polypropylene. It shows excellent water resistance and good recycling capability. LIMEX plastic alternatives can be produced from LIMEX pellets. LIMEX paper can be used for books, name cards, posters or notebooks. By using polypropylene, LIMEX paper alternatives are printable with high temperature laser printers.Recently, “plastic” bags derived from LIMEX were shown. TBM owns two factories in Japan. The company started commercial production in 2016. As of July 2017, the company had raised US $50 million from angel investors.
Nikkei Biotech news release, December 20, 2018
Mitsubishi Life Sciences Institute to begin clinical trials on Muse cell therapy for Epidermolysis bullosa
Muse cells are nontumorigenic pluripotent stem cells present in adult tissues discovered by Mari DEZAWA at Tohoku University in 2010. Mitsubishi Life Sciences Institute has acquired this technology and carries out clinical trials targeting acute myocardial infarction since January 2018. The company announced on December 20 that they have started clinical trials with Muse cells type CL 2020 for the treatment of Epidermolysis bullosa, a genetic disease which leads to easy blistering of skin and mucous membranes.
Mitsubishi Life Sciences Institute news release, December 20, 2018
California has set a high goal for renewable energy introduction, such as by establishing the State Law SB 100 to cover 100% of the electricity in the state with energy that does not emit greenhouse gases by 2045. NEDO and Sumitomo Electric Industries will start a demonstration project where a stationary Redox Flow Battery (RF Battery) is tested for its power adjustment capabilities such as frequency adjustment required by the electric wholesale market and energy supply based on energy trading.
NEDO news release, December 18, 2018
AGC will increase its contract manufacturing business CMC Biologics in Berkeley, California, by expanding manufacturing capacity, with an investment of over 10 billion Yen. The company aims at sales of 100 billion Yen in 2025 in this business field.
AGC news release, December 18, 2018
The sales agreement will comprise transfer of development, production and sales of mushrooms, licensing, and sales of active agents. The sales are based on Takara’s management plan 2019 which promotes the three business divisions of “Biotechnology support business”, “Genetic medicine business” and “Medical food bio business”.
Takara Bio news release, December 17, 2018
The company, which features semiconductor laser technology, has developed an eyeglass-type “retinal scanning laser eyewear” that projects images directly onto the retina using ultra-small laser projectors. Since the image is directly projected on the retina, it is little affected by visual acuity, and could be commercialized as a support device for visually handicapped.
The office was opened on Nov. 1, 2018, followed by an opening ceremony on Nov. 29.
RIKEN news release, December 7, 2018
Morinaga Milk will introduce milk products containing tripeptide MKP as blood pressure lowering agent
The tripeptide (methionine – lysine – proline) isolated from casein degradation has been shown to be an ACE inhibitor and lower systolic blood pressure in man. This development follows up on lactotripeptide present in Calpis products since 2012, and other peptide-based developments.
Nikkei Biotech news release, December 7, 2018
According to a business presentation meeting of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, the companies Life Sciences Institute LSII hs completed, in October, the facility for the manufacture of heterologous MUSE cells. For 2019, triple sales of biodegradable BioPBS (bio-based polybutylene succinate) are expected.
Nikkei Biotech news release, December 5, 2018