Environmentally Harmonized Products and Technologies

The business of JNC originates in hydraulic power generation in 1906.
Thereafter, we have developed the business from electrochemical industries to petrochemical industries, and recently further to information and communication technology (ICT) groups such as liquid crystals, and also to energy groups.
In the present text, from viewpoints of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, based on the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc.(abbreviation: Chemical Substance Examination Act) and the Kyoto Protocol adopted in 1997 for the purpose of preventing environmental pollution by chemical substances, protecting biodiversity, sustainable use of biomass, and so forth, we introduce environmentally harmonized business of JNC Group, and simultaneously environmentally harmonized technologies and products under current research and development.

1. Environmentally Harmonized Business of JNC Group

1-1) ICT Group

ICT Group: Specific examples of environmentally harmonized business in this group include high-performance material business centering on liquid crystal compounds and organo-EL compounds.
It is no exaggeration to say that the liquid crystal compounds completely changed the concept of display devices for TV and personal computers, and served as the driving force of widespread use of thin, light-weight and low energy-consumptive liquid crystal displays instead of energy consumptive cathode-ray tube displays.
JNC also supplies, in addition to the liquid crystal compounds (see Figure 1), alignment films and overcoat (OC) materials to liquid crystal display manufacturers (see Figure 2).
Furthermore, JNC develops and markets dopant materials and electron transport materials also for organic-EL displays which attract attention as self-luminous and environmentally harmonized displays relative to the liquid crystal displays (see Figure 3).

Figure 1. Liquid crystal compounds

Figure 3. Organo-EL (blue dopants)

Figure 2. JNC materials for LCD

1-2) Environment Group

This group includes the Reactor-Bio-System (RBS) business which is highly-esteemed as a technology for treating highly concentrated BOD-containing waste water.
This sewage treatment system is a technology not only for reducing the BOD concentration in the waste water, but also allowing conversion of treated sludge generated with the waste water treatment into fertilizer, which significantly contributes to minimization of environmental impact.
At present, RBS is increasingly adopted not only in Japan but also in countries outside Japan, such as China and Southeast Asia, and highly expected as an excellent waste water treatment system of environmental impact minimization type (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. RBS treatment facilities

2. Environmentally Harmonized Research and Development

In this Chapter, we introduce environmentally harmonized products and technologies under current research and development.

2-1. Carbonyl Fluoride (COF2)

At present, perfluorocarbons gases having high greenhouse effect, such as NF3, C2F6 and CF4 (global warming potential 6,500 (CF4) to 17,200 (NF3)) are mainly used in the cleaning processes in manufacturing semiconductors, liquid crystal displays, etc.
These gases not only have high global warming effect but also face a significant challenge of having a long lifetime in air.
JNC practically uses the technologies of National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, focusing on COF2 having low greenhouse effect (global warming potential = 1) as an alternative to gases having high greenhouse effect, and has succeeded in establishing the technologies.
The manufacturing method of JNC has features of using relatively safe tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) as a raw material in place of a highly toxic gas such as carbon monoxide and phosgene, and easy reaction control (reaction formula 1).
COF2 manufactured in our pilot facilities is currently under evaluation as an environmental impact minimization cleaning gas and etching gas in semiconductor manufacturers (see Figure 5).

Figure 5. COF2 pilot facilities

2-2. Aqueous Environmentally Harmonized Removing Agent

JNC has concluded the joint development agreement with bubbles & beyond GmbH, a venture-backed company in Germany, and is developing a novel environmentally harmonized removing agent (referred to as IF: Intelligent Fluid).
IF has the following features.

1)

High penetrating power and diffusing capacity into a target substance enable deep penetration also into holes to allow perfect cleaning.
Plus micelles repeat high-speed movement (movement speed: 1,000 to 4,000 times/second) of coalescence and splitting (see Figure 6).

2)

Physical removal, instead of a chemical dissolution with an organic solvent such as acetone, allows removal without deteriorating the substrates and coating films.
2) Physical removal, instead of a chemical dissolution with an organic solvent such as acetone, allows removal without deteriorating the substrates and coating films. Therefore, after-treatment after removal is easy (see Figure 7).

3)

The agent is formed of aqueous and low-irritating components (pH: vicinity to neutrality), and therefore has no corrosiveness and no hazard.
The market is currently under development centering on microelectronics groups, such as rework of touch panels (TP), removal of residual adhesives after separation of TP/cover glass, screen printing frame rework (removal between screen gauzes and frames, and removal of adhesive residues on the frames), and removal of paste for fixing wafers.

Figure 6 Difference between IF and nano emulsion

Figure 7 Cleaning mechanism

2-3. Bioethanol

JNC has developed the technologies for manufacturing bioethanol based on cellulose as a consigned project of the Ministry of the Environment from the fiscal 2010 year to the fiscal 2013 year.
Bioethanol attracts attention as a carbon-neutral energy source from all over the world, in which the bioethanol uses as a raw material a plant containing sugar, starch, cellulose or the like as obtained by a photosynthetic reaction using carbon dioxide and water as the main materials.
The quantity of production is rapidly increasing, and bioethanol is currently produced from carbohydrates such as sugarcanes, centering on Brazil, and starch such as corn mainly centering in the United States.
However, an increase in bioethanol using edible raw materials such as corn is close to the limit due to its balance with food problems caused by expansion of population, and bioethanol production from non-edible raw materials is desired, which does not compete with food.
JNC is developing bioethanol in a bench scale aiming at establishing the technologies for producing bioethanol using neglected bamboo groves or the like as the raw material.
Bamboo has a high growth rate and grows in 2 to 5 years or so.
Moreover, ability of reproduction is also high and the bamboo grove area expands at a rate of 8.1%/year.
This figure is equivalent to an area increase by about two times in ten years, and since bamboo has shallow roots, an increase in the neglected bamboo groves leads to disasters such as landslide by heavy rain or the like.
However, adequate management of the bamboo groves produces biomass resources effective in absorbing carbon dioxide due to their ability of reproduction, and simultaneously matches the purpose of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use based on the Convention on Biological Diversity signed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
In the future, we will develop bioethanol as an environmental recycling business with a view of producing bioethanol using agricultural wastes such as straw and fruit vegetables as the raw materials.

2-4) Agricultural Technology System

JNC is developing a new environment-friendly agricultural technology system.
The technology under current development relates to a farming method needing no soil (soil-less) to allow cultivation of fruit vegetables even on sand or concrete.
This farming method ultimately allows cultivation in various places without using farm land, leading also to immobilization of carbon dioxide by photosynthesis, thereby playing a role of curbing global warming.
Moreover, the method causes no runoff of fertilizer components and curbs impact to the environment.
We are developing the agricultural technology with a view to utilize bioethanol as a heat source for heating or a carbon source for acceleration of photosynthesis (see Figure 8).

Figure 8. Social Industry Model of Bioethanol and Agricultural Recycling


In Conclusion
We will create environment-friendly and environmentally harmonized products and technologies so as to meet the social needs without placing too much confidence in technology.

Glossary
Global warming potential (GWP): GWP is expressed in comparing intensity of greenhouse effect for 100 years per a concentration of the gas in air, based on carbon dioxide.