Inter-University Research Program (MEXT)
Research Project for Zero Emission Energy System
Zero-emission energy refers to energy that emits no or minimal harmful substances or greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. It also refers to advanced, environmentally friendly energy systems that minimize environmental impact and energy losses. Zero Emission energy is the key to solving global energy problems and environmental issues once and for all.
As a joint usage/research center for Zero Emission energy research certified by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, the Institute of Advanced Energy (IAE) strives to meet the demands of the diverse energy-related research community and the international community regarding issues of energy, the environment, and resources. We pursue joint usage and joint research projects related to Zero Emission energy with researchers from around Japan, and strive to educate and foster innovative researchers who will continue with these efforts.
IAE is designated as a joint usage/research center for advancing Zero Emission energy research.
We will open new frontiers in Zero Emission energy by meeting the demands of the research community and pursuing joint usage and joint research projects.
- Joint usage of large-scale specialized equipment and state-of-the-art research facilities
- Interdisciplinary joint research and the international exchanges and talent it fosters
- Publicizing the importance of the activities of the zero-emission energy research center and encouraging researchers in different fields to join our mission
MEXT Special Budget (Project) (MEXT)
Innovative strategy for highly efficient utilization of solar energy
- Exploring novel principles for highly efficient utilization of solar energy -
This interdisciplinary research project is aimed to uncover principles that govern highly efficient utilization of solar energy. Four research groups, each based on different disciplines of chemistry, biochemistry, physics and nanotechnology, simultaneously propel the cutting-edge research on the next generation photovoltaic cells, solar fuels, and biorefinery. Research topics include novel solar-light energy utilization by nano-carbon materials, one-dimensional carbon-based polymers for energy utilization, assembly of enzymes on molecular switchboards, development and application of methodology to investigate wood biomass utilization by solution NMR, and applications of mid-infrared laser to investigate the excitation states of nanomaterials. Mutual interactions between the research groups provide an ideal environment to incubate the original ideas, which stimulates creation of an innovative paradigm in solar energy utilization technology.
Bilateral Collaboration Research Program (National Institutes of Natural Sciences)
Heliotron J is a plasma device designed to optimize the helical-axis heliotron configuration devised by Kyoto University researchers. Its physical design incorporates three elements: the concept of quasi-isomagnetic fields, the ability to control the bumpiness of the magnetic field, and a magnetic well that covers the entire confinement volume. These elements realize a high compatibility between particle confinement and MHD stability, which has been an obstacle in previous helical-axis heliotrons.
Since the initiation of plasma experiments in 2000, we have been steadily progressing towards demonstrating Heliotron J's high potential as a high-temperature plasma confinement system. We have improved our heating system and measuring equipment, generated high-temperature plasmas in regions with low collision rates (electron temperature of about 1 keV at the plasma center), and demonstrated good energy confinement (1.5 to 2 times greater than the ISS95 scaling value). Goals of the second mid-term plan for Heliotron J include (1) academic research of advanced helical configurations with an emphasis on understanding the unusual transport properties of helical systems with non-planar magnetic axes, (2) improving the plasma quality, especially by refining particle confinement and increasing the beta limit, and (3) developing Heliotron J into a nuclear fusion reactor. In addition to improving and expanding the experimental data infrastructure of Heliotron J, these goals will greatly contribute to the Numerical Test Reactor project and international collaborative research. We kindly ask for your guidance and support as we move forward in new research directions.
Joint Research Project "Smart-Materials"
Since April of 2015, the Institute for Chemical Research (ICR), the Institute of Advanced Energy (IAE), and the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere (RISH) have been working in cooperation on the "Smart-Materials" project, supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan. The ever-increasing demand for materials and energy by the present social system has almost reached its limit, and the environment is heavily burdened by harmful byproducts and surplus heat from mass production. In order to overcome these issues, this project aims to fabricate smart materials and develop a joint research organization, achieving green innovation through "zero loss" at the production/transportation/usage of materials/energy. The model for the target materials is a biological system with molecular recognition ability, autonomy, and activity. The key to success is interdisciplinary research with flexibility and rapidity. Taking advantage of the three institutes being located at the same campus (Uji campus of Kyoto University), the under-one-roof scheme is expected to deliver internationally excellent results, contributing significantly to this research field.