On July 2022, the Research Association of Biomass Innovation for Next Generation Automobile Fuels was established by ENEOS Corporation, Suzuki Motor Corporation, Subaru Corporation, Daihatsu Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Tsusho Corporation with the task to study ways to optimise the process of producing fuel.
In order to truly achieve carbon neutrality, it is imperative to provide various energy options to meet the needs of different regions and customers. So far, hydrogen and synthetic fuels based on electricity from renewable energy sources, as well as bioethanol fuel able to reduce CO2 emissions through photosynthesis in plants pose bright options, and their effectiveness has been confirmed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Still, it is important to clarify the issues and search for a solution regarding CO2 emission reduction and social implementation throughout the manufacturing process, as well as raw material procurement for any of these fuels.
This new association promotes technological research on the use of biomass, the efficient production of bioethanol fuel for vehicles through the optimised circulation of hydrogen, oxygen, and CO2 during production to achieve a carbon-neutral society. The specific research areas are:
· Research on efficient ethanol production systems: with the aim of improving production technology for second-generation bioethanol fuel that does not compete with food, the research association will design, install, and operate production facilities, identify issues with production, research solutions, and study ways to improve the efficiency of production systems.
· Research on byproduct oxygen, CO2 capture, and utilisation: studies on how to use the high concentration of oxygen generated as a byproduct during hydrogen production, and the CO2 generated during bioethanol fuel production.
· Research on the efficient operation of the overall system, including fuel utilisation: Investigation on issues involved with using bioethanol fuel obtained into automobiles and other vehicles and exploring solutions. It will also study model formulas that can make predictions of both raw material cultivation production volumes and fuel production volumes.
· Research on efficient raw material crop cultivation methods: development of a system that proposes optimal cultivation methods for maximising yield and optimising crop components to secure raw materials for bioethanol fuels. It will aim to improve the accuracy of crop yield productions through soil composition surveys and other methods.