University-Industry Cooperation and Research Program Division,
Research Program Department,
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
5-3-1 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083, JAPAN

University-Industry Research Cooperation Societally Applied Scientific Linkage and Collaboration

University-Industry Cooperative Research Committees

148th Committee on Coal and Carbonaceous Resources Utilization Technology

Aims and Goals

While the outlook of energy supply and demand in the 21st century is uncertain, it is no exaggeration to say that we cannot maintain our current standard of living without consuming a considerable quantity of fossil fuels for the time being even though problems relating to carbon dioxide will remain serious.

For this reason, how to effectively use coal and unutilized heavy oils, whose deposits are large enough to be reliable as energy sources although they involve many environmental problems compared with other fossil fuels, has become a major challenge to humankind.

The committee is engaged in animated research activities regarding coal and other carbonaceous resources in such areas as basic science, conversion technology, use as raw materials for chemicals, and environmental conservation technology. Its research challenges in this term include issues regarding technologies for the use of solid wastes, biomass fuels, etc., in which interest has been quickly rising in recent years, and these issues are actively discussed among committee members representing industry, academia, and the government. Through its activities, the committee also provides opportunities for expanding the sphere of person-to-person communication.

Research Themes

1. Conversion technologies: Combustion, gasification, liquefaction, pyrolysis, carbonization, etc., of coal and other carbonaceous resources
2. Cleaning of fossil resources: Ash removal, desulfurization, denitrification, etc.
3. Environmental problems ensuing from use of fossil resources: How to reduce or remove SOx, NOx, CO2, trace elements, polycyclic aromatics, etc.
4. Solid fuel handling technology: Crushing, dewatering, slurrying, and methods of transportation
5. Other new technologies: Expansion of the range of technology utilization, including co-treatment with plastic wastes, unused heavy oils, or biomass; the effective utilization of coal ash; and the production of ultra-clean liquid fuel from synthetic gas
6.Future outlook of energy, prospects for the use of various resources, and the consequences to the environment of using those resources

Committee Chairperson

Takayuki Takarada
Professor Special Duty
Gunma University


April 2014 to March 2019 (Seventh term, Five years)

Membership Composition   (As of Apr.2017)

Academia: 41
Industry: 22
Total membership: 63

Committee Achievements and Special Activities

1. Publication of brochure commemorating the 20th anniversary of the committee

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 148th Committee, a brochure was published in December 2004 summing up the committee’s past activities and stating the title of every lecture at the study meetings held from its first through fourth terms. The brochure contains information about researchers that covers the research themes and achievements of the committee researchers. The intent of the brochure is to stimulate interaction among the experts representing industry, academia, and the government in the committee and to facilitate the resolution of problems that they are faced with in their routine work. The publication thus contributes to the vitalization of information exchanges among the committee members.

2. Co-hosting of Conference of Coal Science with the Japan Institute of Energy

The committee has co-organized the Conference on Coal Science with the Coal Science Division of the Japan Institute of Energy since fiscal 2009. Having a 48-year history, the Conference on Coal Science is a meeting in which Japanese researchers and engineers from industry, academia, and the government who specialize in coal utilizing technology gather under the same roof. Co-organizing this conference, which is extensively utilized as a forum for exchanging new information and forming a personal network among researchers and engineers specialized in coal, greatly contributes to the development of the committee. This year’s (2011) Conference on Coal Science (48th) is scheduled to take place in Niigata City, and the 49th conference is scheduled to take place in 2012 in Kushiro City.

3. Japan-China Symposium on Coal and C1 Chemistry

The 10th Japan-China Symposium on Coal and C1 Chemistry, which the committee hosts, was held in October 2009 in Tsukuba City. The event was a significant success, attracting many participants from the two countries. As the symposium was held in Japan, many young Japanese researchers and engineers attended it, engaging in animated discussions and exchanges. Particularly notable papers among ones presented on the occasion will be shortly published in a special issue of Elsevier B.V.’s FUEL journal.

Preparations for the 11th symposium, to be held in August 2011 in Urumqi, China, are well under way.

4. Surveys of latest technologies through inspection tours

In accordance with requests from committee members, an inspection tour is held every year to survey the latest technologies for the utilization of coal and carbonaceous resources, and the tour also serves as an opportunity for discussion. The destinations or survey subjects of such tours in recent years are listed below.

September 2006: Coal flash partial hydropyrolysis technology (ECOPRO) and coal gasification technology (EAGLE)

September 2007: Clean Coal Power R&D Co., Ltd. (IGCC)

December 2010: Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI)

Committee Web Site