The amount of CO₂ emitted by humans is estimated at 11 billion tons carbon equivalent per year. On the other hand, CO₂ fixed by photosynthesis on land is estimated to be 113 billion tons in nature and 29 billion tons by human activities such as agriculture and forestry. Of course, most of the fixed carbon is released again through respiration and combustion, but it is estimated that 1.9 billion tons is fixed by nature and 3.4 billion tons by agriculture and forestry. Various technologies have been proposed to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but photosynthesis is the only way to absorb the enormous amount of CO₂ being emitted.
Realizing a Carbon-Negative Society through Carbon Cultivation
Carbon negativity can only be achieved by increasing carbon fixation through agriculture and forestry, reducing emissions of CO₂ from fossil resources with the resulting biomass-derived fuels, and reducing biomass-derived CO₂ generation through conversion to materials and carbon sequestration. This hub will challenge the limits of carbon negativity through carbon cultivation, which takes full advantage of the potential of photosynthesis.
Carbon cultivation reduces carbon emissions and sequesters carbon.
We will create new biomass industries in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries to replace fossil resource-dependent industries. Rice cultivation will stimulate the local economy with reducing methane production and carbon sequestration. The increased rice production will also contribute to food security.
In forestry, carbon cultivation using fast-growing trees will increase carbon sequestration. A regional biomass industry cluster will be created by, for example, using the materials produced through carbon cultivation as an alternative to plastic. Healthy forests will also lead to disaster prevention and mitigation.
To realize this vision, we have set following five targets.
Target 1: Establishment of Carbon Cultivation Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery
Target 2: Establishment of Carbon Caultivation-Based Material Development Technology
Target 3: Establishment of Carbon Cultivation-Based Fuel Production Technology
Target 4: Reduction of Greenhouse Gases and Wastes generated by Carbon Cultivation
Target 5: Realization of a Society that Accepts Carbon Cultivation
The positioning of each target is illustrated in the figure below.
The carbon fixed by photosynthesis by rice, trees, and algae is used as material and fuel, and the unusable biomass is processed and used as fertilizer, while the excess carbon is stored. We will build the means for society to accept and realize this cycle. Since it is necessary to realize social implementation at each stage of the cycle, various companies will participate in the social implementation.
Based on the targets, we have set following five research themes.
R&D Theme 1: Development of Sustainable Carbon Cultivation Technology
R&D Theme 2: Development of Carbon Cultivation-Based Material Development Technology
R&D Theme 3: Development of Carbon Cultivation-Based Fuel Production Technology
R&D Theme 4: Development of Technologies for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gases and Wastes produced by Carbon Cultivation
R&D Theme 5: Development of Evaluation Methods for Social Acceptability
To list of research activities