Integrated Research Center
for Carbon Negative ScienceInstitute of Advanced Energy, Kyoto University
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Project (1) Solar energy utilization for CO2 capture and conversion

This project aims to establish new science and technology for more efficient use of solar energy as an energy source for CO2 capture and conversion into valuable resources. For example, nanocarbon materials such as carbon nanotubes can, in principle, be synthesized from CO2. If they can be utilized for highly efficient use of solar energy, it will be possible to collect solar energy with CO2-based materials to further fix CO2 into valuable products. In addition, knowledge and technologies of researchers from diverse fields participating in the project will be integrated to promote comprehensive research in basic energy science for the realization of new solar energy conversion systems.

1. Solar energy utilization
for CO2 capture and conversion

Project (2) Conversion of CO2 into useful substances

Various CO2 capture and utilization (CCU) technologies have been proposed. Among them, electrochemical CCU technologies using renewable energy have attracted much attention in recent years. This project will explore the potential of electrochemical CCU technologies using various electrolytes. For example, molten salts can be used to produce various carbon materials and hydrocarbons from CO2. In particular, diamond may be produced by using CO2 and water as raw materials. Also, by changing the electrolysis conditions, we can expect to produce a variety of useful carbon materials.

2. Conversion of CO2
into useful substances

Project (3) Biological utilization of CO2

This project focuses on bio-related methods, materials, enzymes, and includes the development of tools to better understand the biological cell and its energy conservation, and technology to enhance and/or prolong the activity of enzymes, particularly those related to CO2-fixation. Membranes, reactors and processes are being developed to enhance biomass utilization and develop efficient biorefineries. The identification of new microbial enzymes or metabolic pathways that can contribute to CO2-fixation is also a major goal. Although individual groups may specialize in diverse areas of research, collaborative research is ongoing to contribute towards developing a bio-based society.

3. Biological utilization of CO2