Offer Solutions for the Environmental Measurement and Alternative Energy Fields

Society Challenges

Increased CO2 emissions from rapid global economic and societal growth and development have resulted in many problems, such as extraordinarily large storms and heavy rains caused by climate change and problems with environmental pollution in rivers, oceans, and soils from large quantities of waste and hazardous substances. CO2 emissions have also been identified as impacting ecosystems and human health.

Measures by Shimadzu Corporation

Satisfying Demands for Expanding Online Environmental Measurement in China

The Shimadzu Group offers products and services that provide support for complying with water, atmospheric, and other environmental regulations or for identifying environmental pollution from microplastics.

Support for Smooth Compliance with Environmental Regulations

Environmental regulations in China have become significantly stricter in the last several years. Manufacturing plants and other facilities are required to install effluent water and emission gas measuring equipment and send measurement data to the regional government online. Shimadzu online environmental analyzers serve a significant role in that process. To comply with regulations for key effluent pollution sources, online total nitrogen and phosphorus analyzers are used to manage the water quality of effluents, rivers, lakes, and so on. Roughly 2,000 of those analyzers are Shimadzu products, which is equivalent to about a 40 % market share.

In anticipation of water quality regulations for enclosed seas, we released models that can measure samples containing seawater, which was difficult to do using conventional methods, and models for compliance with mandatory air concentration monitoring requirements at factory boundaries. In Korea, authorities decided to transition from using the conventional time-consuming COD measurement method for analyzing water quality to the TOC measurement method, which enables continuous monitoring. Given similar trends occurring in neighboring countries as well, demand for TOC analyzers is expected to expand.

By offering various online measuring instruments for monitoring effluent water and gas emissions, Shimadzu provides support for further regulatory compliance by customers and for environmental measures. 

Contributing to Determining the Actual Status of Microplastic Problems

To identify environmental pollution problems from microplastics in oceans, rivers, and other environments, various investigative and research organizations throughout the world are involved in assessing the actual status of microplastics (such as particle count, distribution density, size, composition, and adhered substances) being discharged into the environment or ingested into biological organisms. When investigating microplastics, different analytical/measuring methods are used depending on what is being investigated, such as the base material itself or hazardous substances adhered to the particles. Shimadzu offers systems and application software for analyzing/measuring most of those substances.

Dr. Alan Jamieson of Newcastle University worked with the Shimadzu Group to discover that deep-sea organisms in the deepest areas of the ocean were ingesting plastics and successfully identify those materials. Dr. Tomoya Kataoka of Department of Civil Engineering, Tokyo University of Science used Shimadzu analysis systems to identify the source of microplastics in a river and investigate their distribution status.

Support for Quality Control of Renewable Energies and Development of Environmentally-Friendly Materials

For wood biomass power generation, measuring the moisture content in wood chips used as fuel is extremely important, because it is closely related to the amount of heat generated, ignitability, and combustibility. Therefore, the moisture content of wood chips must be carefully measured at the point they are delivered.

Whereas that complicated measurement process previously required several hours to complete, a Shimadzu MOC63u electronic moisture analyzer can finish the process in only tens of minutes. The moisture analyzer can also send measurement data directly to a computer, which saves the time otherwise required for entering data and ensures data can be acquired quickly and accurately, helping to create a more efficient working environment.

Cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) have gained attention as a sustainable plant-based carbon-neutral material that is very environmentally compatible.

Such CNFs need to be evaluated based on fiber length, fiber thickness, dispersion, and other parameters. Nano-3D mapping functionality of a scanning probe microscope (SPM) can be used to visualize the dispersion within a composite material by overlaying an elastic modulus image on an image of the 3D morphology of the CNF composite material.