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NEDO Selects Joint Nitto Denko, Kobe University Bioethanol R&D Project

Japan’s NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Organization) has selected a joint R&D project on materials for bioethanol production being pursued by Nitto Denko Corporation, a leading diversified materials company, and Kobe University as one of the four themes in its FY 2009 “Development of Elemental Technology for Biomass Energy Conversion” project lasting until FY2011.

NEDO is a semi-governmental administrative agency with the mission of enhancing the competitiveness of Japan’s industrial technology by identifying core technology seeds of the future and by promoting technology R&D at various stages of development.

The Nitto Denko, Kobe University project is entitled “R&D into Polymer Membrane-integrated System for Distillation and Dehydration of Cellulosic Bioethanol”.

In the joint R&D with NEDO, Nitto Denko will fully leverage its polymer membranes expertise in domains such as seawater desalination and gas/vapor separation to reduce the production cost of bioethanol as well as the energy consumption for its distillation/dehydration. For that purpose, the company will conduct R&D on low-cost polymer membrane modules for bioethanol distillation and dehydration, as well as an energy-saving distillation/dehydration system using the modules.

Prof. Akihiko Kondoh’s team at Kobe University will leverage its expertise on cellulosic biomass fermentation to conduct research into preventing membrane fouling by impurities in biomass-derived ethanol, and together with Nitto Denko, develop the technology for stable operation of the distillation/dehydration system.


Henry Gibson

Japan has enormous unused tracts of land to grow plants to provide ethanol.

Use Nuclear power to make methanol instead. ..HG..

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