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Establishment of “Tsubame BHB Co., Ltd.”


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Strive to achieve practical applications for the world’s first on‐site
ammonia synthesis systems

Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
Universal Materials Incubator Co., Ltd.
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Japan Science and Technology Agency

Pioneering on-site ammonia production: Collaboration with Ajinomoto and UMI

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Establishment of “Tsubame BHB Co., Ltd.”

  1. 1. DATE Establishment of “Tsubame BHB Co., Ltd.” ~Strive to achieve practical applications for the world’s first on‐site  ammonia synthesis systems~ 27APR2017 Ajinomoto Co., Inc. Universal Materials Incubator Co., Ltd. Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan Science and Technology Agency
  2. 2. DATE No.News Release 27APR2017 Ajinomoto Co., Inc. and the No. 1 UMI Limited Partnership managed and operated by Universal Materials Incubator Co., Ltd., Professor Hideo Hosono, Director of Materials Research Center for Element Strategy at Tokyo Institute of Technology, have established Tsubame* BHB Co., Ltd., which strives to achieve practical applications for the world’s first on‐site ammonia synthesis using applying catalysts developed by Hosono’s research group supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency. The new company began operations on April 25, 2017. 2 *Tsubame: means swallow in Japanese
  3. 3. DATE No.Contents 27APR2017 3 1. About Tsubame BHB 2. Technical explanation by Prof. Hosono 3. Positioning at Ajinomoto Co., Inc. 4. Significance of collaborations in  Industry and Academia 5. About UMI 4 13 18 24 25
  4. 4. DATE No.About Tsubame BHB Co., Ltd. 27APR2017 Established April 5, 2017 Start of Business April 25, 2017 Total Investment JPY 450 million  Outline of  Business R&D and manufacturing  involving on‐site ammonia production systems and catalysts Chief Executive  Officer Hideo Nakatani Chuo‐ku, TokyoPrincipal Office R&D Base Midori‐ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Tokyo Institute of Technology, Suzukakedai Campus 4
  5. 5. DATE No.Tsubame BHB’s Business Model Tsubame BHB IP rights Investments Catalyst  manufacturers Engineering  companies User companies Next‐generation  development ,IPs Manufacturing  outsourcing Supply Catalysts and  equipment supply Licensing fees Alliance partners Prof. Hosono (and others)  Achieve the world’s first “on‐site ammonia production technologies” using electride catalysts developed by the  Tokyo Institute of Technology  Bring innovative academia technology into practical applications through collaborations with various companies 27APR2017 5
  6. 6. DATE No.What is ammonia? A substance that is essential to human life 27APR2017 Nitrogen Air Nitrogen Natural gas Hydrogen Ammonia Amino acids Proteins Fertilizer 6
  7. 7. DATE No.How ammonia is used: In a variety of applications, including foods, fertilizers, and chemicals 27APR2017 Air Natural gas Nitrogen Hydrogen Plants Fermentation  bacteria Fermentation  Ammonia Agricultural fertilizers 7 Amino acids (Food products, pharmaceuticals) Chemicals
  8. 8. DATE No. 55% 7% 12% 13% 3% 10% 尿素 燐安 硝安 硫安 直接利用 工業用 Worldwide demand for ammonia, by field (2012) The global ammonia market: A huge market focusing mainly on fertilizers 27APR2017  Total worldwide ammonia production volume: 165 million tons  = A market valued at approximately 5 trillion yen*  Global ammonia production is increasing; approximately 84% of the total production comprises of fertilizers Most of produced  ammonia is used  in fertilizers Data source: MCTR, NEXANT *Average ammonia market conditions calculated assuming a  price of US$300/ton and an exchange rate of US$1 = 110 yen Ammonium  phosphate Worldwide ammonia production volumes Other Asian countries ASEAN / Oceania Korea Ammonium  nitrate    Urea Ammonium  sulfate Direct  applications Industrial  applications Japan India China Africa United States Middle East Saudi Arabia Former Soviet Union (excluding Russia) Brazil Europe (EU27 + OECD) American countries Canada Russia 8
  9. 9. DATE No.What is the Haber‐Bosch process? A foundation of industry, unchanging for 100 years 27APR2017  Used in the production of fertilizers, which supply nitrogen essential to the growth of crops → The process was first achieved by Fritz Haber, a professor at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany,   and Carl Bosch, an engineer at the German chemical manufacturer BASF (The first production line began operations in 1913)  With the supply of chemical fertilizers produced using this method, the global yield of crops increased  dramatically  The process has been called “a way of making bread from the air” Haber and Bosch were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1918 and 1931, respectively  More than 100 years after their invention, this process remains the most common method for the  production of ammonia Carl Bosch Fritz Haber Ammonia production plants using the Haber‐Bosch process (100 years ago and today) Source:‐57339‐0003,_VEB_Leuna‐ Werke.jpg 9
  10. 10. DATE No.Issues involved in the Haber‐Bosch process: Concentrated, large‐scale production 27APR2017 Substantial storage costs Ammonia  manufacturing Transport as a  liquid gas Ammonia transport Concentrated, high‐volume  production at large‐scale plants Areas of demand (end users)Ammonia storage Requires compliance with laws and regulations Chemicals Agricultural fertilizers Amino acids (Food products, pharmaceuticals) 10
  11. 11. DATE No.New technology achieves “distributed production” through on‐site ammonia production 27APR2017 Reduction in storage costs Distributed production  at small‐scale plants in  each area of demand Reduction in transport costs Production only in the volumes  required at sites Areas of demand (end users) Chemicals Agricultural fertilizers Amino acids (Food products, pharmaceuticals) Ammonia  manufacturing 11 Ammonia storageAmmonia transport
  12. 12. DATE No.The future envisioned by Tsubame BHB 27APR2017 12 We will contribute to society by establishing on‐site ammonia production technologies that overturn  the conventional wisdom of “centralized, large‐scale production” which will lead to implement  distributed and environment‐friendly production system throughout the world
  13. 13. DATE No.27APR2017Current Technology + NH3 (1.7 B.ton/year) Fertilizer Hydrogen career H2N2(Air) For Fuel Cells etc. Haber – Bosch Process(1910) Intermediate for  chemicalsHigh Temp./Pressure (400‐500ºC, 100‐300atm) liquefaction (Chemistry Researcher, University)+(Engineer, BASF) 1910 Unique results of academic‐industrial alliance Global population growth Potential Needs On‐sight production near by  hydrogen production sites Iron Catalyst 13
  14. 14. DATE No.27APR2017Key of Ammonia Synthesis Anti‐bonding orbitals Bonding orbitals High electron donorbility & Chemical stability = Cutting Strong N‐N triple‐bonding is Key Process 14
  15. 15. DATE No.27APR2017 C12A7 Electride Catalyst N  N  ‐ Ru C12A7:e− H− H− e− e− H H H H Nature. Chem. 2012, 4, 934 Capture and release of H0 Promote the cleavage of N2 We found the cleavage of N2 molecule could be promoted by strong electron  donating power of the electride, even under low temperature condition. Unique properties of C12A7 electride Low work function (similar as Metal Potassium), chemical & thermal stability 15
  16. 16. DATE No.27APR2017Various Types of Electride Catalyst Ca2NH, Ca(NH2)2 Y5Si3 LaH2‐x CaH2 16
  17. 17. DATE No.27APR2017Challenge for Ammonia Synthesis under Low Temp./Pressure 100 10 1 0.1 300 400 500 600 700 800 NH3concentration (%)  Temperature (K)  P=1 atm P=10 atm Our target (new process) Current Industrial process (Haber‐Bosch process) P=100 atm We build new ammonia synthesis processes under low temp. /pressure using electride Iron Catalyst Electride Catalyst 17
  18. 18. Prof. Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University, who discovered “umami,” had a strong desire to “Improve nutrition for Japanese.”  The original “AJI‐NO‐MOTO®” Glutamic acid,  extracted by   Prof. Ikeda 1908 Saburosuke Suzuki II  launched “AJI‐NO‐MOTO®,” the world’s first  umami seasoning. 1909 ◇ Ajinomoto Co., Inc. became a trailblazer among Japanese venture companies, through  collaborations between industry and academia Origins of Ajinomoto Co., Inc. 1909:  The world’s first umami seasoning  (amino acid) business started 1909:  The world’s first umami seasoning  (amino acid) business started No.18
  19. 19. What are “Amino Acids”? ◇ Approximately 20% of the human body comprises of proteins ≒ Amino acids Amino Acid ○ Organic  compound with two functional groups     (both carboxyl and amino groups) ○ Materials in proteins, which built the human  body *Amino groups are derived from ammonia Amino group Carboxyl group Side chain No.19 Proteins Hundreds of amino acids  linked together Peptides Two to several tens of amino acids  linked together Amino acids Water 60% Proteins 20% Fats 15% Carbohydrates &  others 5%
  20. 20. Business Expansion Based on Amino Acids Discovery of Flavoring  substance (umami) Glutamic  Acid Amino Acids Nucleotides Edible Oils Business Processed Foods Business (soups, mayonnaise, frozen foods etc.) Seasoning Business (Umami seasoning AJI‐NO‐MOTO®, HON‐DASHI®, Cook Do® etc.) Umami Seasoning Business Sweeteners Business Amino Acids for Pharmaceuticals  and Foods Business Specialty Chemicals Business Pharmaceutical Custom  Manufacturing Business Animal Nutrition Business Wellness Business Sports Nutrition Business In 1908, Prof. Kikunae Ikeda isolates glutamic acid key  flavor component of dashi (soup stock). Flavor enhancing effect Use of vegetable oil Application  Development Use in Processing Development of fermentation method No.20
  21. 21. Amino acids manufacturing method (fermentation method) Raw material: sugar cane Extract molasses Addition of fermentation bacteria and  sub raw materials (nitrogen) Produced Amino acid  Drying Fermentation  bacteria Nitrogen Crystallization Amino acids Molasses Fermentation  liquor No.21 ◇ Produced through a fermentation method that uses sugar as a main raw material and ammonia as a  sub raw material
  22. 22. Bio‐cycle for Amino Acids Production The Ajinomoto Group produces amino acids through a fermentation process using crops that are readily  available in each region as raw materials. In this process, amino acids are extracted from a fermentation  liquor, leaving behind nutritionally rich by‐products (co‐products) that are then used locally as fertilizer  for agricultural crops. The “On‐site Ammonia Production” model is incorporated into this Bio‐cycle system. Nitrogen content etc. (Urea,  ammonia, amino acids etc.) (Urea, ammonia) Organic nitrogen No.22
  23. 23. U.S. Peru Brazil Japan France Thailand Vietnam Indonesia China ◇ The Ajinomoto Group has 20 fermentation production bases in 9 countries around the world Stable supply and greater cost competitiveness, while at the same time reducing energy  consumption in  transport, and minimizing environmental impact Aims to achieve the world’s first “on‐site ammonia production” model, to produce ammonia in the required  volumes, where it is needed No.23The Ajinomoto Group’s global fermentation production bases 
  24. 24. 24 Tokyo Tech Ventures and University Reform  Tokyo Tech Social Growth Aiming to become one of the world’s top 10 research universities Innovation and social implementation  University Start‐Ups In April 2017, in line with its university reform strategy, Tokyo Tech launched four new management  offices* to enhance education, research, and industry collaboration. Among these, the Office of  Research and Innovation will promote basic research and social innovation through new start‐ups,  combining Tokyo Tech expertise with industry investment. Research & IP  Capital & Operations Strategic Management Council Office of Research and Innovation (*)Strategic Management Council <Planning and Management Offices> Office of Public Engagement Office of  Education and International Cooperation Office of Research and Innovation Office of Campus Management
  25. 25. DATE No.UMI: A Platform for the creation of new business in the chemicals and material industries 27APR2017 Major corporationsAcademia Domestic chemicals & material based ventures A Co. B Co. C Co. D Co. ・・・ E Co. Start‐up Equity Investment Carve out Investment/ Professional trainees Chemicals & Material  Companies Innovation Network  Corporation of Japan GP Global network with chemicals and material companies User industries (auto, electronics, semiconductors, medical, engineering etc.) etc  Management with chemicals & material expertise  Strong network with material companies  Fulling portfolio gap with industry Selected seeds Network Network  Partnering with Major Corporations  Strong Academia Network  Focus on development and scale‐up stages Investment  Through capital participation by the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ; a Public‐Private Investment Fund),  and 9 major material and chemical companies listed on the 1st Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, UMI operates a fund valued at 10 billion yen. It supports new business and invests in promising engineers and technologies that will form the foundations of the next‐generation industry. 25
  26. 26. DATE No.Investment Theme 27APR2017 Understanding  of Needs Paradigm Shift Matched with the future needs of industry Able to explain “Why this technology” Ties into “something” that the customer wants There is “someone” who is determined to have it Matched with universal human needs Overturns preconceptions of “impossible” or “difficult” Takes on challenges outside of commonly accepted industry wisdom Forgets about “improving on exciting technologies” Transcends the concepts of “high efficiency” and “high yield” Release from the spell of “high added value” Applies commonly accepted wisdom form other industries Adopts the perspective of “intentionally going against the trends” × Shared Industry  Knowledge Increased scale / Manufacturing resource Marketing channels and key person + 26
  27. 27. DATE No.Our approach 27APR2017 Stage1 Research Stage2 Engineering Stage3 Production  Engineering Stage4 Small scale Manufacturing Stage5 Mass  Production 11~years5~years0year 15~years 20~years8~years Development stage of chemicals/material Academia Large Corporation Vacant Space! =Our Focus No academia  elements Too early for large  corporation’s  investment  5‐7 years’ development with ~$10M investment  Use large corporation’s resources (mass production technology, marketing channel) ~$1‐2M ~$5‐7M Over $10‐100M Technology Depth Water = Working Cap. Identify business stages, and  concentrate investments in  stages 2 and 3 Appropriate equity  investment Active collaborations  with large corporations Comprehensive hands‐on  management support Assumptions behind investments 1 2 3 4  New business in the material and chemical industries is defined from the outset as time‐ consuming and expensive  Concentrate support on Stages 2‐3, where it is easy to fall into the “valley of death”  Stage 2‐3 → Equity investments of 1‐2 billion yen, to accommodate development in the engineering phase, where risk is comparatively high (assume investment of up to 1 billion yen)  Venture companies do not have to struggle to get through Stage 4‐5 alone, because the resources of large corporations are used effectively. The portfolio is complemented by a broad‐ranging network of companies.  Business does not move forward just because you invested money. UMI provides clear communications from before business startup and before the investment, as well as support through comprehensive, hands‐on management. 27
  28. 28. DATE No.27APR2017 28