Fiscal 2019 CSR Activity Report - Contributing Solutions to Social Issues through Business Activities

Approach to Green Innovation Products

Value Creation

The following diagram outlines Toray Group's process and procedures for certifying Green Innovation products. Products are subjected to a two-stage screening process conducted by the divisional committees and by the group-wide Green Innovation Certification Committee. Those able to demonstrate objective evidence of providing an effective solution for global environmental issues are certified as Green Innovation products.

Green Innovation Product Certification Process
Green Innovation Product Certification Process
  1. 1 This includes LCA data, T-E2A data, and estimates of CO2 emissions reduction attributable to the product.
  2. 2 Comprised of members of Toray Industries' Global Environment Business Strategic Planning Department, Corporate Marketing Planning Department, and Technology Center Planning Department, as well as experts when necessary.

Green Innovation Products Released in Fiscal 2019

World’s First Porous Carbon Fiber with a Continuous Pore Structure Created
Helping to improve high-performance gas separation membranes indispensable to a sustainable world

Hollow fiber made from the new porous carbon fiber material and the pore structure insideHollow fiber made from the new porous carbon fiber material and the pore structure inside

Toray Industries has created the world's first porous carbon fiber with a nanosized continuous pore structure. The new material can be used as a layer to support the structure of gas separation membranes for separating out greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, as well as biogas, hydrogen, and other gases. Absorption- and adsorption-based facilities conventionally separate carbon dioxide, biogas, hydrogen, and other gases. The issue with such setups, however, is that they are large and consume a lot of energy, resulting in heavy carbon dioxide emissions. While energy-saving membrane separation methods have been attracting attention as a result, membranes for practical use with both good gas separation performance and durability have not yet been realized. Membranes made from Toray’s new material are lightweight and compact, and can improve separation performance. They are also chemically stable, which will help expand the applications for the membrane separation method. Going forward, Toray Industries will strive to develop applications for this material, in an effort to promote carbon recycling and help to build an energy-saving and hydrogen-based world.

Textile Developed with Both Low Environmental Impact and High-Grade Water Repellency
Using Toray’s own conjugate spinning technology NANODESIGN™

Magnified cross-section of Nanoslit Nylon fiberMagnified cross-section of Nanoslit Nylon fiber

Toray Industries has developed Nanoslit Nylon, a new textile that offers a high degree of water repellency even when treated with eco-friendly water repellants.
Fluorine-based water repellents used in conventional water-repellent textiles contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which does not decompose easily and may build up in the human body or remain in the natural environment. Meanwhile, environmentally friendly water repellents that do not contain PFOA have low water repellency and durability. This makes them unsuitable for dedicated outdoor and sporting applications.
Nanoslit Nylon is made from raw yarn created using Toray’s proprietary NANODESIGN™ conjugate spinning technology. It provides high-grade water repellency even when treated with an environmentally friendly water repellent, and delivers the same strength and abrasion resistance as regular yarn.
It will be marketed to makers of swimwear, athletic leisure jackets, and outerwear for active outdoor and sporting activities such as skiing.

HFUG Series Advanced High-Surface-Area Ultrafiltration (UF) Membrane Modules Developed and Launched
Membrane surface area increased by 25% while maintaining the same integrity and water permeability by creating a membrane from thinner hollow fibers

HFUG Series ultrafiltration (UF) membrane module with larger surface areaHFUG Series ultrafiltration (UF) membrane module with larger surface area

Toray’s hollow-fiber UF membrane can remove fine particles, bacteria, and viruses from wastewater thanks to a pore size of 0.01µm, equivalent to one five-thousandth the diameter of a human hair. The HFUG membrane series is based on proprietary membrane-forming technology that yields thinner hollow fibers while still maintaining membrane strength and water permeability. As a result, Toray Industries has achieved 25% more membrane area, 90 square meters, in the same conventional-sized module. This makes it possible to reduce the space needed for wastewater treatment equipment by about 20%, compared to conventional modules. The number of necessary pipes and valves has also been decreased, offering cost savings.

The UF membrane serves as a physical barrier to block viruses and pathogens. Moreover, unlike the conventional gravity-type solid/liquid separation process, the membrane-based process is ideal for automated and unmanned water treatment operations. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has further heightened interest in the membrane process. Toray’s UF membrane is set to play a major role in providing safe and reliable tap water.