The 20th (2020) Green and Sustainable Chemistry Award Winners

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Awarded by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry

Sustainable surfactant "Bio-IOS"

Masato NOMURA, Yohei YOSHIKAWA, ShingoTAKADA, Toku FUJIOKA and Yuichiro Tase

Kao Corporation

     Due to the rapid global growth of population and economy, the demands for surfactant and detergent are expected to keep increasing over the supply capacity. To solve this issue, we developed bio-based Internal Olefin Sulfonate (Bio IOS) from the surplus C16 and C18 vegetable oils that have been generally considered unsuitable as a raw material for surfactant owing to decreased water solubility and applied to a laundry detergent as a main component which succeeded in the reduction of environmental impact.

Awarded by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Leading Research on Development of Novel Dehydrogenative Oxidation Using Solid Catalysts

Kazuya Yamaguchi

Tokyo University

     We have designed function integrated heterogeneous catalysts and realized various GSC compatible functional group transformations based on dehydrogenative oxidations, such as oxidative amidation, amine formal oxygenation, and dehydrogenative aromatization.

Awarded by the Minister of the Environment

Development of recycling technology for gypsum board

Shingo HIRANAKA(*1), Makoto KATAOKA(*1), Hiroyoshi KATO(*1) and Hideki KURODA(*2)

(*1)Tokuyama Corporation,(*2)Tokuyama Chiyoda Gypsum Co.,Ltd.

     In order to recycle waste gypsum board as a raw material for gypsum board, it was necessary to modify its specific crystal structure. Therefore, we have developed a continuous reaction process to recrystallize the gypsum of waste gypsum board. Currently, two factories have been constructed and stable operation is continuing. All of the gypsum manufactured at both factories is sold to Chiyoda Ute Co., Ltd., a gypsum board maker, and used as a raw material for boards.

Venture Capitals Award

Industrialization of microwave chemical process

Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd.

     Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd. (“MWCC”) was founded in 2007 and have developed the platform technology of microwave. We started the world’s first chemical plant using microwave in 2014 and have expanded to various chemical applications. Since microwave can provide energy with the target material directly and selectively, energy efficiency is very high. MWCC also contributes to accelerating the circular economy by developing the highly efficient decomposition of used plastics. We believe microwave should be a key technology for carbon-neutral. Our target is to replace 10% of the existing petro-chemical plants by microwave process and reduce 57 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2050.

Small and medium-sized enterprises Award

Water-saving agriculture producing high quality crops with a hydrogel film

Mebiol Inc.

     Mebiol Inc. has invented a film called “Imec” made of hydrogel for growing vegetables with less water. The film prevents harmful viruses and germs from getting in, rendering pesticides unnecessary. The film also creates a “water stress” that helps crops such as tomatoes synthesize large amounts of sugar, amino acids, and other nutrients. This, in turn, leads to more natural sweetness and higher nutritional value. In addition, Imec eliminates soil contamination that can negatively impact crop productivity and quality.

Incentive Award

Development of biomass conversion process by using membrane separation technology

Shigeyuki FUNADA, Koji KOBAYASHI, Takuya KASAHARA, Hiroyuki KURIHARA and Katsushige YAMADA

Toray Industries, Inc.

Incentive Award

Technology development of CO2 separation and capture using DDR-type zeolite membrane

Hiroaki HASEGAWA(*1), Shogo TERATANI(*1), Makiko NIITANI(*2) and Kenji YAJIMA(*2)


Incentive Award

Catalyst Development for lowering the temperature of the CO2 methanation and establishment of CO2 methanation-water electrolysis cooperation system


The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Incentive Award

Effective Utilization of Non-edible Biomass for environment-conscious Functional Materials


Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

Incentive Award

Development of greener catalytic synthetic methods of amines and amino acids


Kyushu University

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