Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No. 111: Building an environment-conscious sewage system in disaster-stricken districts (November 9, 2011)

The efforts to build an environment-conscious sewage system in collaboration with the local governments hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake are growing widespread. Sekisui Chemical will collaborate with Sendai city to build a system that creates hot water using the exhaust heat from the sewage pipe that is around 20 degrees centigrade all the year round. Using Sekisui’s technology on the production of resin sewage pipes, the system will take out heat using the resin sheets on the bottom of the pipes. It is possible to install the system without breaking the existing sewage pipes. Metawater and Kesennuma city will together build a system to utilize a large amount of fishery wastes from seafood processing plants. The system mixes the wastes with sewage sludge and generates electricity using heat and methane gas generated in the fermentation process. The generated power will be used in the plant.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has positioned these two projects as government-supported research projects. The two local governments and private companies involved will build equipment for substantiative experiments. After examining the results of these experiments, the government is scheduled to expand these efforts to other local governments. About 40% of the 150 sewage treatment plants were destroyed in the Fukushima disaster, and the damages are estimated to be several hundred billion yen.

In addition to these local governments and private companies, Japan IBM is studying the construction of an eco town with Sendai city, and Boston Consulting Group is working on building a seafood processing plant on the seacoast that uses renewable energy in collaboration with Iwate Prefecture. Hitachi submitted a proposal on an environment-conscious town to more than 10 local governments, while Fujitsu made the same kind of proposal to a prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan.  

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