Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
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Developing Environment-Friendly Products

We capitalize on gas control technologies cultivated over many years to promote the development of products that reduce our impact on the environment and propose solutions and contribute to global environmental conservation.

Products that Contribute to the Reduction of Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions

  • Reduction of energy consumption
  • Reduction of air pollution

We promote the development of oxygen combustion technologies for a broad range of applications, contributing to the reduction of energy consumption and emissions of substances harmful to the environment. For example, we have developed a combustion technology whereby high-purity oxygen is added to atmospheric air, increasing the oxygen concentration to 21% or higher, which boosts combustion efficiency. This facilitates a higher burner flame temperature while at the same time lowering the concentration of NOx, thereby reducing NOx in emissions and thermal losses. A variety of applications are being explored for this as a technology contributes to the reduction of both energy consumption and CO2 emissions, including high-temperature heating furnaces and melting furnaces.

This achievement has its origins in an oxygen burner technology introduced from U.S. firm Air Reduction Company in 1970 in which fuel (mainly heavy oil) and oxygen were injected into a nozzle tip, diffused and combusted. Attaching a nozzle and oxygen burner to a smelting or sintering furnace thus made it possible to improve productivity. In the United States, the technology was commonly used in aluminum smelting, but in Japan it first became popular as a way to reduce energy consumed by electric furnaces, after which use expanded to include other industrial furnaces, including aluminum melting furnaces, refractory cement melting furnaces and aluminum oxide kilns. We have responded by developing a lineup of products suited to diverse needs, including the SCOPE-Jet® swing burner, which substantially reduces power consumption, and Innova-Jet®, which achieves a significant reduction in NOx generation during oxygen-enriched combustion.

The Innova-Jet® Swing burner direct flames efficiently and evenly over a wide area via self-induced oscillation.
The Innova-Jet® Swing burner direct flames efficiently and evenly over a wide area via self-induced oscillation.

NeoKelvin®-Turbo 10 kW Large-Capacity Turbo-Brayton Refrigerator for Superconducting Power Cables

  • Reduction of energy consumption

In the area of superconducting power cables, practical development is expected to yield benefits in the form of a stable power grid and reduced costs. Of particular note, efforts to achieve commercialization are progressing overseas, fueled by growing demand for electric power. In response to rising needs, in May 2013 we launched the NeoKelvin®-Turbo 2 kW, a Turbo-Brayton refrigerator developed specifically for this application that uses neon gas as a refrigerant. In July 2016, we commenced sales of NeoKelvin®-Turbo 10 kW, a large-capacity Turbo-Brayton refrigerator.

While NeoKelvin®-Turbo 2 kW is only capable of cooling test-scale superconducting power cables several hundred meters long, NeoKelvin®-Turbo 10 kW facilitates the cooling of cables upwards of 1.0 km. A prototype of the NeoKelvin®-Turbo 10 kW is currently being used to cool cables in a superconducting power cable verification test being conducted jointly by Korea Electric Power Corporation and LS Cable & System Ltd. on the Korean island of Cheju. In July 2019, actual transmission of electric power through these cables began, marking the first time a Turbo-Brayton refrigerator has been used commercially for cooling superconducting power cables.

The NeoKelvin®-Turbo 10 kW Turbo-Brayton refrigerator
The NeoKelvin®-Turbo 10 kW Turbo-Brayton refrigerator

Energy-Efficient Ultralarge-Scale Air Separation Unit

  • Reduction of energy consumption

Air separation units take in atmospheric air and produce gases, notably oxygen and nitrogen, through liquefaction and separation. Our ultralarge-scale air separation unit offers distinct advantages over its predecessors in terms of energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption per unit of gas produced by approximately 15%. This accomplishment reflects three key improvements:

  1. 1.Increased operating efficiency, achieved by boosting the size of the unit as a whole and of the air compressor;
  2. 2.Reduced air compressor power requirements, attributable to the use of a low pressure-loss packed column; and
  3. 3.Reduced air compressor energy consumption, a result of the use of a downflow condenser reboiler.

Ultralarge-scale air separation unit
Ultralarge-scale air separation unit

Nitrocube® RE-LT Series of High-Performance PSA Nitrogen Generators

  • Reduction of energy consumption

Pressure-swing adsorption (PSA) nitrogen generators capitalize on differences in the properties of the adsorbent used to continuously extract nitrogen while alternately pressurizing and depressurizing compressed air. In addition to achieving performance improvements by modifying our in-house adsorbent technologies and by combining a newly developed proprietary gas separation process with a control technology that optimizes the action of the compressor in accordance with the amount of nitrogen generated, we succeeded in reducing energy consumption. Thanks to these energy-saving technologies, Nitrocube® RE-LT series’ PSA nitrogen generators are eligible for a tax scheme in Japan designed to help strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises.

LT-F nitrogen supply system for laser cutting machines
LT-F nitrogen supply system for laser cutting machines

JN Series and MG Series of Nitrogen Generators

  • Reduction of energy consumption
  • Reduction of air pollution
  • Reduction of noise and vibration

We install nitrogen generators at the sites of customers that consume a large volume of nitrogen. We use an environment-friendly production process that unlike conventional processes does not require the use of chlorofluorocarbon refrigerators. The JN series of nitrogen generators are standardized units with advanced noise reduction features. Thanks to process modification, the MG series delivers increased nitrogen yield, achieving a reduction in energy consumption per unit of gas produced of approximately 20%. We also provide high-volume supply systems that achieve a reduction of approximately 30%.

Nitrogen generator
Nitrogen generator

Vacuum-Insulated Products

  • Reduction of energy consumption

The Thermos business of subsidiary Thermos K.K. dates back to 1978 and capitalized on its vacuum insulation technologies to develop the world’s first vacuum-insulated stainless steel bottle. The Thermos lineup also includes portable vacuum insulated mugs for hot and cold beverages and sports-use vacuum-insulated beverage bottles, as well as the Shuttle Chef series of vacuum-insulated thermal cooking pots, all of which have earned certification under Japan’s Eco Mark system. In line with its goal of providing solutions that enhance lifestyles and are environment-friendly, Thermos continues to promote the development of a variety of products that reduce resource use and contribute to environmental protection.

Cold Retention: Vacuum-Insulated Container vs. PET Bottle

Cold Retention: Vacuum-Insulated Container Vs PET Bottle

Heat Retention: Shuttle Chef vs. Standard Pot

Heat Retention: Shuttle Chef Vs Standard Pot

Shuttle Chef Components
Shuttle Chef Components

Package-Type Hydrogen Refueling Station

  • Prevention of global warming
  • Reduction of air pollution

The package-type hydrogen refueling station integrates the four major components of a hydrogen refueling station-dispenser, pre-cooler, hydrogen compressor and storage into a single unit. These compact (9m × 2m × 2.6m) units can be used not only as permanent stations, but also as truck-mounted mobile stations. The package format significantly reduces the cost of installation, while the simplification of components means the cost of fabrication is only half that of conventional permanent stations. Because it can be used as a mobile station, a single Hydro Shuttle® offers promise for multiple applications, including on-site stations equipped with hydrogen production facilities, off-site stations that supply hydrogen produced at facilities elsewhere and travelling stations that transport hydrogen from one location to another.

In December 2017, we opened Nimohys Hydrogen Station Setagaya, operated by Nippon Mobile Hydrogen Station Services, LLC (nicknamed “Nimohys”), in Tokyo. This is our second such station, joining Nimohys Hydrogen Station Minami-Rokugo in the city’s Ota ward. Looking ahead, we will continue to promote the establishment of additional stations.

Hydro Shuttle hydrogen refueling station mounted on a truck
hydrogen refueling station mounted on a truck

Biogas Refining Units

  • Prevention of global warming

Our biogas refining units, which employ ordinary-pressure regenerative PSA, are capable of increasing the purity of methane gas to 98% or higher. We recently developed a low-cost compact unit suitable for the small- and medium-scale decentralized biogas plants used by dairy farmers and food processing factories. Because high-purity methane gas separated and refined from biogas is suitable for applications that conventionally depend on city gas, it offers promise as carbon-neutral energy that can be produced locally for local consumption. In Japan, tests are currently under way to determine the feasibility of supplying methane produced from biogas and city gas using the same distribution networks, underscoring the potential of biogas-derived methane to contribute to environmental preservation.

Biogas refining unit
Biogas refining unit

Sun Cutter® HL-1 Gas Cutting Fuel Gas

  • Prevention of global warming

Gas cutting is a process that uses fuel gases and oxygen to cut steel. We have developed and launched Sun Cutter® HL-1, a flammable gas for this application, the principal component of which is hydrogen. Because it emits almost no CO2, Sun Cutter® HL-1’s environmental impact is minimal. It also enhances work environments by suppressing radiant heat. It also delivers an excellent cutting performance thanks to a cutting speed 1.4 times faster than existing products, lower thermal distortion and improved cut surface quality.

Index of CO2 Emissions (LPG=100)

Index of CO<sub>2</sub> Emissions (LPG=100)

Sun Cutter® HL-1
Sun Cutter® HL-1

Cutting steel with Sun Cutter HL-1®
Cutting steel with Sun Cutter® HL-1

New Compact Combustion-Type Exhaust Gas Abatement System

  • Prevention of global warming
  • Reduction of air pollution

Fuel-powered combustion-type exhaust gas abatement systems contribute to the prevention of global warming and reduced environmental impact by efficiently decomposing perfluorocarbon (PFC) gases used in electronics manufacturing, which have a long atmospheric lifetime. Leveraging related combustion technologies, we developed a new burner that can be installed near the dry pump outlet downstream in the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system that isolates chambers, reducing the need for previously essential nitrogen and exhaust piping for exhaust gas dilution. By reducing necessary utilities, this unit achieves a reduction in CO2 emissions attributable to exhaust gas abatement systems of 50%–60% compared with existing offerings.

New compact combustion-type exhaust gas abatement system: Exterior of burner
New compact combustion-type exhaust gas abatement system: Exterior of burner

New compact combustion-type exhaust gas abatement system: Flames in burner
New compact combustion-type exhaust gas abatement system: Flames in burner

NACS HEAT® Liquefied Gas Cylinder Heating System

  • Prevention of global warming
  • Reduction of air pollution

We recently added NACS HEAT®, a liquefied gas cylinder heating system for use with our U-NACS II automated cylinder cabinet. This energy-efficient system achieves significantly higher energy conversion efficiency than conventional systems using heating blankets or jacket heaters, the new system. In addition, an interlock function that links the system to the cabinet itself ensures a safe and stable supply.

Comparison with conventional systems

  • Electric power consumption: -50%
  • Facility costs: -50%
  • Supply capacity: 2–3 times
  • Space required: -30%

NACS HEAT® used with a 1,860-liter cylinder
NACS HEAT® used with a 1,860-liter cylinder

Installing NACS HEAT® on a 47-liter cylinder
Installing NACS HEAT® on a 47-liter cylinder