Recognition of Issues and Basic Approach
The Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group seeks to help solve global resource depletion issues involving energy, metals and other resources. For this, the Group is implementing measures to reduce the use of raw materials needed at the product manufacturing stage, along with the usage of utilities such as power, steam and water, and other resources.
Activities to Reduce the Use of Raw Materials in Manufacturing and the Usage of Utilities
By enhancing manufacturing processes, equipment and other aspects of existing plants, the Group is promoting activities to reduce the use of raw materials at the manufacturing stage, along with the usage of utilities such as power, steam and water.
Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Renewable Raw Materials (Plant-Based and Other Natural Resources)
The Group has been promoting the shift from fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas, etc.) that are at risk of depletion in the near future to renewable raw materials that use plant-based and other natural resources.
Reducing Rare Metal Usage in Products
The Group is working to reduce the usage of highly rare metals through such means as switching to lithium-ion battery cathode materials that contain less cobalt (a highly rare metal), yet realize the same if not better performance.
Using Less Rare Metals in Manufacturing Processes
The Group is working to use less rare metals in catalysts and other materials while improving productivity.
Targets and Results
* Aggregated from savings of only ¥0.1 billion or more from figures for domestic Group companies
|Fiscal 2013||600 tons|
Examples of Activities
■ Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation: Bio-based engineering plastics adopted for automobile interiors
DURABIO, the bio-based engineering plastic developed by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, was adopted in the colored interior panels of compact cars. DURABIO exhibits high functionality and performance, especially in such areas as impact resistance, heat resistance, and weather resistance along with brightness of color and transparency. We will continue to accelerate the development of applications in various fields.
■ Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation: Established technology to mass produce carbon black from plant oil
Carbon black, a substance used in rubber products and other items, is mass produced from coal- and oil-based heavy oil, a raw material that includes an abundance of aromatic components such as anthracene. Previous manufacturing methods were unable to mass produce carbon black from plant oil, which has very little aromatic components. In response, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation worked to develop the technology needed to shift raw materials from coal- and oil-based mineral resources to renewable resources based on plants. By applying high-performance carbon black manufacturing technology developed independently, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation has established a technology to mass produce carbon black from plant oil with high efficiency.
■ Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation: Okochi Memorial Production Award received for development of energy-saving coke manufacturing technology
In March 2013, the awards presentation ceremony for the 59th Okochi Memorial Production Awards was held. The Okochi Memorial Production Awards are conferred in recognition of outstanding production technologies. At the ceremony, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, together with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, Kobe Steel, Ltd., JFE Steel Corporation, and Nisshin Steel Co., Ltd., received the Okochi Memorial Production Award for the joint development of energy-saving coke technology which makes possible the expansion of coal resources. The five companies including Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation participated in a national project called SCOPE21,* and successfully produced steelmaking coke using a higher percentage of lower-grade coal than before. In recognition of this breakthrough, the award was conferred upon the five companies. This technology has already been adopted in the coke ovens of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation.
* SCOPE21: Super Coke Oven for Productivity and Environmental enhancement toward the 21st century (development of coke manufacturing technology with a high coal conversion). With the timing for upgrades and replacement of existing coke ovens coming soon in the steelmaking industry, SCOPE21 is a national project implemented to ease restrictions on the types of coking coal that can be used, to help mitigate environmental problems caused by coal, and to develop energy-saving, highly productive coke manufacturing processes.