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Department of Energy and Environment

Promoting green innovation

To promote green innovation, AIST is developing technologies for increased use of alternative energy technologies, such as renewable energy sources that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (energy creation), high-density storage of energy (energy storage), highly efficient conversion and use of energy (energy saving), effective utilization of energy resources, and evaluation and reduction of environmental risks.

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New Research Results

Development of a Catalyst Capable of Synthesizing Methanol from Carbon Dioxide at Low Temperature

The researchers at AIST developed a novel approach toward methanol production from CO2 using multinuclear catalyst including two iridium atoms in a gas-solid phase, in order to avoid the thermodynamic constraints. This catalysis promoted hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol even at 30 °C or 0.5 MPa with high selectivity. The achievements in this study will contribute to the zero emission of greenhouse gas in future.

Figure of new research results Energy and Environment

Production of methanol by the effective hydrogenation of carbon dioxide using a multinuclear iridium catalyst

Development of a High-Concentration Methane Production Process from Atmospheric CO2

Researchers in AIST developed a process for producing high-concentration methane from low-concentration CO2 in collaboration with the Delft University of Technology. The concentration of CO2 as a feed covers the concentration range from dilute atmospheric CO2 to CO2 originating from power plants. This process does not require a CO2 capture and separation process prior to the conversion process.

Figure of new research results Energy and Environment

Schematic diagram of the process of dilute CO2 conversion into methane using a dual-functional catalyst

Research Unit

Open Innovation Laboratory

Since FY 2016, as a part of the “Open Innovation Arena concept” promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), AIST has created the concept of “open innovation laboratories” (OILs), collaborative research bases located on university campuses, and has been engaged in their provision. We are planning to establish more than ten OILs by FY 2020.

AIST will merge the basic research carried out at universities, etc. with AISTʼs goal-oriented basic research and applied technology development, and will promote bridging research and evelopment and industry by the establishment of OILs.


Cooperative Research Laboratories

In order to conduct research and development more closely related to strategies of companies, we have established collaborative research laboratories, bearing partner company names.

Partner companies provide their researchers and funding, and AIST provides research resources, such as its researchers, research facilities, and intellectual property. The loaned researchers of companies and AIST researchers jointly conduct research and development.

By setting up cooperative research laboratories, we will accelerate the commercialization of our goal-oriented basic research and application research with partner companies.

  • Shimizu-AIST Zero Emission Hydrogen town Cooperative Research Laboratory

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