Friday, October 16, 2015

No. 146: Latest Japanese achievements for global environment (October 16, 2015)

Latest Japanese achievements for global environment were released. The grand champion is, of course, Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle “Mirai (the future),” and it is followed by various epoch-making technologies to preserve global environment. Mirai has already received a total of more than 3,000 units by the end of August this year for the domestic market alone. It is priced at about 7 million yen now, though it cost 100 million yen to build a prototype model in 2008. Toyota is scheduled to increase the annual production capacity from 700 units at present to 3,000 units in 2017.

Research Institute for Humanity and Nature developed a technology to increase crop yields by preventing the soil from being eroded. The new technology creates fallow soil about 5 meters wide in the farmland where no seeds are planted and no weeds are eradicated. Because soil and organic substances are blown to the fallow soil, crop yields of the entirely farmland increases by changing the place of the fallow soil every year. The experiment conducted in Niger of Africa, the new technology decreased wind erosion by about 70% and increased crop yields by 30-80%. It does not need much investment, and it greatly contributes to increasing food production in regions suffering from poverty.  

Taisei Corporation developed a technology to purify water polluted water of industrial water disposal facilities and industrial effluent treatment facilities with the help of bacteria found in the soil in alliance with Osaka University and Kitasato University. The new technology efficiently dissolves 1,4-Dioxane that is hard to eliminate and supposed to pose a health risk. It can decrease the maintenance cost by 80% and input energy by 60% than the method that uses an oxidant. The experiment to prove the performance of this technology proved that it can maintain the ability to keep the concentration of polluted groundwater at lower than the environmental standard for three months.

Railway Technical Research Institute developed a superconductive cable that can reduce energy consumption by 5%. It succeeded in the test run this year using an existing railway line.

 A greening project in a desert by a private company in Kobe

  The future society to be realized by superconductive cables

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