2020 Materials Engineering and Ecology

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Materials Science and Engineering
Yamamoto Kayoko  Ishii Satoko  Kunioka Masao  Yoshida Kazuo  Saito Satoshi  Suwa Yorimasa  Helmut Winterling  Morikawa Junko 
Course component(s)
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Course description and aims

The materials industry and its related environments are reviewed from the viewpoints of:
1. Carbon dioxide capture technology, 2. Bioplastics, 3. Technical communication, 4. Renewable energy, 5. Risk assessment, 6. Environmental-sound technologies, 7. Sustainable Polymer Technologies

Student learning outcomes

The basic understanding of the intercorrelation between environmental/energy issues and the materials engineering and sciences

Course taught by instructors with work experience

Applicable How instructors' work experience benefits the course
The lecture provides practical engineering education in collaboration with industries.


Carbon dioxide capture technology, Bioplastics, Technical communication, Renewable energy, Risk assessment, Environmental-sound technologies, Sustainable Polymer Technologies

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Before coming to class, students should read the course schedule and check what topics will be covered. Required learning should be completed outside of the classroom for preparation and review purposes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 To stop global warming, we have to realize a "low-carbon society". Measures to reduce the CO2 emission cannot be taken without high-performance materials and process. The role of materials for energy systems and for technology of climate change mitigation would be learned. -Energy situation in and outside Japan and issues to be solved -Electricity sector tackling reduction of CO2 emission -Need for Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilization and Storage -Other CO2 reduction technologies (Hydrogen, Super critical CO2 power cycle) Understand the basics of the "low-carbon society".
Class 2 What is bioplastics? Basic evaluation of bioplastics (Kunioka) Bioplastics include biodegradable plastics which can be degraded to CO2 in controlled environment and biobased plastics which is produced from biomass resources. Kinds and trends of bioplastics in global market will be introduced. The reason why bioplastics are environmentally friendly materials will be explained. Biodegradability and biobased content of bioplastics based on ISO methods will be introduced. Certification scheme managed in global market will be introduced. In addition, making method of ISO standards will be explained. Point of this lecture is understanding what is bioplastics including biodegradable plastics and biobased plastics.The second point of this lecture is understanding the evaluation method of biodegradability and biobased content of bioplastics based on ISO standards.
Class 3 Technical communications between the research scientist and the society are discussed with a practical writing tool. (Yamamoto) Understand the technical communications between the research scientist and the society.
Class 4 Renewable energy (Yoshida) 1. World energy supply/demand particularly focus on renewable energy. 2. Solar thermal energy technology Part 1. Energy supply and development trend of renewable energy are reviewed from the viewpoints of environmental issues. In addition, solar thermal energy supply technology is explained particularly focusing on the technology using parabolic curve. 3. High temperature thermal storage system technology. Solar thermal energy supply system using off axis reflection and thermal energy storage system are reviewed. Understand the world energy supply and development trend of the renewable energy.
Class 5 Risk assessment and management of chemicals for the proper management of chemicals Many chemicals have been industrially produced and used to bring significant benefit to people, but many are toxic and their harm to the environment and our health. This lecture will follow a general introduction to human health risk assessment and four basic steps of risk assessment: hazard identification, hazard characterization, exposure assessment and risk characterization. Understand chemical hazards and principles behind chemical risk assessment and management. Understand basic process and fundamental steps involved in conducting a health risk assessment.
Class 6 Toward the dissemination of Environmental-sound technologies from both the standardization and intellectual property rights How to expand Japanese technology globally is a major issue for Japan in the future. In this lecture, I would like to show the current situation, issues, and future prospects, focusing on environmental-sound technology in the field of polymer chemistry, especially from the aspects of international standardization and intellectual property rights. International standardization and intellectual property rights are not contradictory and should be pursued in a balanced manner. It is necessary for Japanese engineers and managers to have the knowledge and expertise of each. Understand the Environmental-sound technologies from both the standardization and intellectual property rights.
Class 7 Sustainable Polymer Technologies in Times of Challenges(Winterling) Polymers have seen an exceptional growth in the last decades, up to a worldwide annual production of more than 300 million tons as of today. This is driven by substituting traditional materials like metals or wood and entering new applications: the versality of the polymers is huge, due to the variety of building blocks and polymer architectures, making them the material of choice in many areas. The lecture will provide an overview on this growth story, including basics on polymer chemistry and examples for application fields. However, today’s challenges are also huge– there is a need to reduce CO2 emissions, to close the loops in value chains and to find answers to the microplastic challenge. And this leads to the need for sustainable polymer technologies. The lecture will describe approaches for such sustainable polymer technologies from the chemical industry’s perspective, e.g. using the mass balance approach to reduce the CO2 footprint of polymers or developing biodegradable polymers. As part of the lecture, there will be an exchange with the students on their proposed routes to solution. Understand the Sustainable Polymer Technologies

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Materials used in the Web class can be found on OCW-i,

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Not required.

Assessment criteria and methods

Student's course scores are based on the report submitted.

Related courses

  • CAP.I433 : Advanced Functional Polymer Materials I
  • MAT.P423 : Advanced Course in Composite Materials

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Not required

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