Ushio’s technology that uses light to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been chosen as the “FY2023 Research Theme for Sewers Application Research” by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan
Ushio Inc. (Head Office: Tokyo; President & CEO: Koji Naito; hereinafter “Ushio”)’s technology that uses UV light to decompose and make harmless low-concentration nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) gases has been chosen as the “FY2023 Research Theme for Sewers Application Research” by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan*.
N2O and CH4 account for a large part of the greenhouse gases emitted from the sewers, but no technology to clearly counter this exists for N2O and CH4 emitted from water treatment. Taking on this challenge, Ushio has investigated the decomposition of N2O and CH4 by photochemical reactions that use excimer lamps emitting UV light at a 172nm wavelength (Fig. 1) as a new attempt and conducted experiments using pseudo gases and gas emissions from water treatment facilities, yielding research results that show decomposition of certain levels of N2O and CH4 at the same time, only using UV irradiation without any need for catalysts or such, under normal temperature and pressure. With the research theme selected, this technology will continue to be developed through research and development of UV lamps and reactors optimized for decomposing gases emitted from water treatment processes.
Figure 1. Image of N2O and CH4 decomposition using excimer lamp photochemical reactions
Moreover, the challenge of balancing environmental and economic outcomes remains before this technology can be applied and installed in the sewers (Fig. 2). The plan is to collaborate with the Wakihara Lab at the University of Tokyo, which has achieved real results in its research into technology to concentrate N2O using zeolite. We will ultimately conduct demonstrations using gas emitted from actual water treatment processes as a way to elucidate the impact on environmental and economic outcomes, and do research and development of a system for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, using lamps and reactors that can balance the two aspects.
Figure 2. Image of installing the gas decomposition reactor in sewers water treatment
Ushio will continue to accelerate research and development to enable the practical applications of this technology, and contribute to a world where a global carbon net zero and the wellbeing of people are in harmony with each other with “light.”
* “Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Water Treatment with Technology That Uses UV Light to Decompose Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and Methane (CH4)”
Please go here (Japanese only) to see the “FY2023 Research Theme for Sewers Application Research” by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan
Ushio press release dated September 26, 2022: Ushio Has Developed Technology That Can Decompose and Make Harmless Low-Concentration Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and Methane (CH4) Gases