Conversion of CO2 into fuel, construction materials in development in Japan

In May, Hitachi Zosen began testing operations for biogas equipment at a waste incineration plant in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture. The equipment captures the CO2 emitted during incineration for methanization purposes, the first use of methanization equipment in a waste incineration facility.

Competition could intensify

The government has set a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2, by 2050. As one of the technologies to achieve this target, it will encourage the capture and conversion of CO2 into a resource called carbon recycling.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said the technology to produce various materials from CO2, including plastics, jet fuel, minerals and concrete, will be commercially available around 2030.

Electricity giants are also focusing on developing the reuse of CO2, as they emit large amounts of it.

Chugoku Electric Power Co. is trying to produce sand with good drainage properties using CO2. The sand is produced by exposing the mixture – CO2, crushed pieces of concrete from unused utility poles and coal ash from thermal power generation – to microwaves. The sand is intended for use on playgrounds and other places.

Kansai Electric Power Co. has started research on microalgae that produce a special substance from CO2. The substance has an ingredient applicable to therapeutic agents for arteriosclerosis.