Research Topics

Development and Evaluation of Hydrogen (Biohydrogen) Production and Purification Technology through Biomass Gasification

With the aim of realizing a hydrogen-enabled society, we conduct R&D activities on the production of hydrogen from biomass resources or waste materials by means of an indirect pyrolysis gasification process, in collaboration with the industry and academia. We are conducting experiments and simulations on key technologies such as thermal conversion characteristics (understanding of heat exchange and gaseous yields to name a few) and hydrogen refinery performance to ensure appropriate operation of the processes from the perspective of life cycle engineering.
  • Thermal performance apparatus (measurement of thermal conductivity of heat carriers (alumina balls))
  • Thermogravimetric analyzer (measurement of syngas gasification rate)

Biohydrogen Mobility Application (Assisted Bicycle) Using Hydrogen Storage Alloys

  • Polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC, 450W)
  • Regarding the supply of hydrogen synthesized from biomass resources, we aim to introduce it into assisted bicycles based on the principle of sharing. In this laboratory, with the participation of other laboratories and through industry–academia collaboration, we are conducting R&D on a combined system comprising a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC), a hydrogen storage alloy, and a bicycle for mobility; the design of associated batteries, including the measurement of operating characteristics (e.g., energy demand and storage performance) are carried out for optimal implementation.
  • Adsorption/desorption performance apparatus (hydrogen storage alloy cartridge performance)
  • Performance evaluation of assisted bicycles
    ※ Replacement of Li-ion batteries with fuel-cell batteries

Performance Evaluation of Biomass Indirect Pyrolysis Gasification Combined SOFC System Based on Life Cycle Engineering

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) can generate electricity with high efficiency under high temperatures, and are extensively compatible with syngas obtained by indirect biomass pyrolysis gasification. However, syngas (fuel) containing impurities can lead to suboptimal performance and also the lifetime degradation of SOFCs. From the perspective of life cycle engineering, in this laboratory, we conduct performance tests using syngas (including biogas obtained from fermentation) and evaluate processes using a process simulator based on experimental results.
  • Test apparatus of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC, coin cell)
  • Experimental reactors with electrical heating

Bio-hydrogen Purification Using Natural Adsorbents and its Agricultural Applications

The hydrogen produced from biomass feedstock or waste contains impurities that degrade the performance of fuel cells. In general, metal oxide adsorbents are used to remove these impurities, but they have a considerable environmental impact, specifically on the abiotic depletion potential. We investigate the adsorption effect of natural resources such as Kanuma clay, which can serve as alternative adsorbents. In addition, the possibility of reusing the adsorbent as a fertilizer is also considered, and the environmental friendliness and quality of the whole system are examined.
  • Static H2S adsorption test apparatus
    ※The same apparatuses for HCl and NH3 are available.
  • Tubular flow-type H2S adsorption test apparatus (left: horizontal, right: vertical)
  • H2S analyzer (Gas chromatograph, GC2014)
  • Cultivation test of spinach due to NH3-adsorbed Kanuma clay

Quality Maintenance of Agricultural Products Using Natural Refrigerants(GF-08)

Hydrocarbon-based natural refrigerants are candidates for non-CFC-type refrigerants. In our laboratory, through industry–academia collaborations, the refrigeration and freezing capacities of hydrocarbon refrigerants have been evaluated based on thermodynamic properties. Experimental verification has also been performed to understand the heating–cooling capacities and characteristics of agricultural products (vegetables) in the context of refrigeration (changes in respiratory calorific value and nutritional value). Based on these results, we have evaluated the heating and cooling capacities of horticultural facilities, energy consumption, and nutritional changes associated with slow heating during refrigeration in storage facilities from a combined perspective of energy management and life cycle engineering.
Device for measuring CO2 concentration in agricultural products based on the cooling effect


  • 〇LCA of fuel cell systems for product differentiation
    We are developing life cycle assessment indicators for stationary fuel cells, which are being discussed in IEC-TC105 WG14.
  • 〇Development of multiple indicators for environmental and nutritional components to reduce food loss
    Through visualization, we are examining multiple indicators (including labeling) of environmental and nutritional properties of food products at different stages ranging from production, storage to cooking.
Main Available Software Aspen Plus(Process simulator)
ANSYS Fluent(CFD modeling simulator)
SimaPro(LCA software)
Milca(LCA software))
GAMS(Optimal modeling simulator) etc.