Read more

Current state of global warming and its impact on the environment

The earth is in a precarious situation. 
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which is comprised of representatives from 132 nations, released a report stating that, due to the large-scale destruction of the environment by humanity, 100 species are going extinct every day. At this rate, roughly one quarter of the earth’s biodiversity will be wiped out in possibly as little as 25 years. 
By destroying ecosystems, we are threatening the viability of the very environment in which we live.

Currently, we are faced with the serious problem of global warming, the effects of which include rising temperatures, climate change, rising sea levels and extreme weather, all of which have a major impact on ecosystems and human survival.

Harnessing untapped heat as a source of energy

The Iida Laboratory in the Faculty of Advanced Engineering’s Department of Materials Science and Technology is research ways of reducing carbon dioxide, which is the main cause of global warming. When we use fossil fuels, such as oil, gas and coal, it not only releases carbon dioxide; around 70% of the chemical energy in the fuel is released as heat energy. This heat energy typically radiates out into the atmosphere, unused, where it contributes to global warming. 
In the Iida Laboratory, we are developing device technologies that rely on simple and straightforward methods for harnessing this unused energy as an energy source.

In our exploration of various energy converter materials, we have zeroed in on magnesium silicide (Mg₂Si) as an environmentally friendly thermoelectric material. Magnesium silicide is nontoxic, abundantly available and inexpensive. It also has the benefit of being lightweight. 
Capitalizing on these various benefits, a variety of research and testing has been carried out which has shown remarkable success in converting unused heat into a source of energy (electricity). 
This has led to the fabrication of a commercially viable prototype which we currently in the process of developing for the market.

The Tokyo University of Science has historically pursued research which focuses on environmental problems; however, solving this environmental problem requires a heightened level of environmental commitment on the part of each and every person involved. Through collaboration with students, as well as research institutions both inside and outside the Tokyo University of Science community, the Iida Laboratory is working tirelessly to make our environment cleaner and safer, both for today and for the future.

Faculty of Advanced Engineering Department of Materials Science and Technology
Professor Tsutomu IIDA

■ Main research content

Fields of research encompass power engineering, power conversion, electrical machinery and apparatus (environmentally friendly semiconductor energy converter materials). Research is focused on semiconductor energy materials and environmentally friendly semiconductor materials.

Recommended Initiatives