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Contributing to the Prevention of Global Warming and to the Construction of a Safe and Secure Society

photo

Development of
high-performance fuel cells
by numerical simulations.

The reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, considered to be a major cause of global warming, has become a global priority. Most carbon dioxide is emitted when fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal, and natural gas are burnt to generate energy at power plants, and to power manufacturing plants and cars. Although nuclear power plants are used as one way to generate energy, their numbers will not increase substantially in the future because of the difficulties involved in processing nuclear waste and in dismantling aged nuclear power plants. The use of renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and biomass energy is being reviewed, but the energy provided is not sufficient to meet demand. While the distant future holds many promises, at least for the next several decades, fossil fuels will inevitably be needed to meet global energy demand. As one energy utilization issue, it has been pointed out that only about one third of the total amount of energy consumed is effectively utilized, and that the remaining amount of energy is wasted as thermal energy. If we can find a way to make use of this wasted thermal energy, the consumption of fossil fuels can be reduced, as can the resulting emissions of carbon dioxide.

This course examines the development and technical advantages of alternative efficient energy sources such as fuel cells, and studies technologies that can make use of currently wasted thermal energy, power generating equipment that uses biomass and alternative (non-petroleum) fuels, technologies used to retrieve generated carbon dioxide before it is discharged into the atmosphere, a bidirectional transforming system that uses the reaction between material and thermal energy, and more.

Furthermore, it goes without saying that these facilities shall be operated safely and stably. A main focus of the coming society is to construct a "safe and secure" society. In this pursuit, we are working on developments such as advanced operation control systems for the stable operation of plants, support systems for safety assessment, failure diagnosis systems, and equipment malfunction diagnosis systems.

The Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
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