NKK CORPORATION: Annual Report 2002
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Environmental Solutions

trong public and private support for the creation of a resource-recycling society underpins growing demand for environment-related business. NKK’s Environmental Solutions Center, which allows the Corporation to fully demonstrate the synergies of steelmaking and engineering operations, is taking vigorous strides forward in this promising business with pertinent solutions-oriented approaches.

Recycling Solutions

NKK has developed a sophisticated system using a heat-medium bath to efficiently separate plastic and metal particles from shredder dust. The Corporation is working to commercialize this system, which will help automakers meet tougher standards and other requirements stipulated in recycling legislation for scrapped cars.

      We are close to completing a system that turns leftover wooden materials from construction sites into blast furnace feed, based on real tests with wood scraps. Through more detailed experiments, we will refine the system for practical application that meets the stipulations of recycling legislation for construction materials.

      In fiscal 2003, we will energetically pursue solutions that further sharpen our competitive edge in the recycling business. One such solution is multipurpose gasification, which applies existing expertise in high-temperature gasifying and direct melting furnaces to the conversion of difficult-to-recycle materials into reusable resources.

Eco-Energy Solutions

We are working on the development of a system to efficiently mass-produce DME, a clean fuel with considerable potential for practical use as an alternative next-generation energy source.

      We have prepared conceptual designs for a pilot plant with capacity of 100 tons per day, in line with a national project to promote commercially viable DME production technology that was entrusted to us in fiscal 2001 by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

      In October 2001, NKK led a joint effort with eight other companies to establish DME International Corporation, which conducts DME manufacturing and marketing and related commercialization feasibility studies. The company is concentrating on marketing activities to promote the use of DME so commercial operations can be initiated as quickly as possible after direct-synthesis technology is completed. DME International is working toward its first delivery of DME in 2006.

      NKK also set up a research and development structure geared toward pilot tests of DME production technology in 2002. This structure hinges on DME Development Co., Ltd., a research company established in December 2001 by a consortium of nine companies that invested in DME International to pursue the technical side of developing DME direct-synthesis technology for commercial applications.

      Also in February 2002, NKK received approval to conduct running tests of a DME vehicle on public roads. These tests will serve to heighten interest in DME as a fuel and foster development of DME-powered vehicles.

DME Project Timeline
(Calendar year)

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