The RICOH Eco Business Development Center serves as a location for
demonstration experiments concerning advanced environmental technologies
in the areas of resource conservation, energy creation (utilizing renewable energy),
and energy conservation toward the creation of new eco businesses.
These trials include a waste plastic oiling technology that
re-generates and extracts fuel oil and metals from waste toner cartridges as well as
a forest biomass model that ranges from procuring thinned wood to
generating energy from it using locally produced and locally used infrastructure.
With these two areas as our main pillars, we are also contributing to resource conservation and energy creation focusing on energy recycling, as well as realizing energy conservation mechanisms through advanced technologies. Through open innovation in collaboration with other players from industry, public institution and academia, we are actively exchanging knowledge and technologies among diverse experts and further accelerating our feasibility studies within a range of research themes.
Major Feasibility Study Themes at the RICOH Eco Business Development Center
Generating and extracting oil and metal from waste plastic components
Toner cartridges and bottles are difficult to recycle as they are soiled by toner and contain metal parts. We recycle such waste plastic components as a resource by dissolving them using heat. We plan to further advance this recycling technology to build our model for resource and energy recycling as a structure of local production for local use.
Producing hydrogen from waste plastic and forest biomass
Creating a highly efficient reverse supply chain for used OA devices
We have consolidated OA device reuse and recycling facilities that were previously distributed across 12 locations throughout Japan into 3 sites in accordance with the analysis of environmental impacts (CO2 emissions) and economic efficiency. This is part of our effort to develop an efficient OA device reuse and recycling system.
Local-production-for-local-use model covering various processes from procuring thinned wood to generating energy from it
Collaborating with the local government and forestry companies, we have simultaneously achieved forest management and energy creation. We will create a recycling model for forest biomass energy that utilizes unused materials in Gotemba. The model is expected to contribute to job creation and revitalization of the area.
Power generation system that utilizes water flows in various locations
A micro hydroelectric power generation system utilizes numerous water flows that exist as an unused resource in agricultural fields, town areas, buildings and factories. Based on our exclusive technology acquired through development of high-precision devices including photocopiers and cameras, we plan to develop a compact, lightweight and stable power generation system at a low cost in order to construct locally produced and locally used energy infrastructure.
Complete solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell with high conversion rate even from indoor lighting
We produce a safe and durable solar cell that enables stable and permanent operation of sensors without any external power supply from a wall socket or battery. The cell is expected to be a clean and smart independent power source to contribute to spread of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Battery with rapid charging and high-current supply capabilities (Field trial with automatic guided vehicles)
This rechargeable battery is capable of fast charging and instantaneous supply of large current. The battery is a result of the application of our material technology cultivated through photocopier toner development. Its low-heat nature minimizes deterioration from repeated use. Thus the battery is expected to contribute to a drastic productivity improvement in robotics and transportation.
Applying machine vision technology to autonomous driving
Ricoh has commercialized an industrial stereo camera. Installing this camera on an electric vehicle to monitor surroundings, we are conducting autonomous driving trials. We aim to realize a highly reliable autonomous driving system by applying our established machine vision technology.
Applying machine vision technology to autonomous flight without accessing GPS
Conventional drones were required to be manually operated if the GPS was not accessible. Utilizing Ricoh’s “eye,” an integration of our long-established optical and image processing technology, we hope to expand the uses of drones.
Producing and extracting functional ingredients from plants
To contribute to health and beauty promotion and add value to botanical specimens, we plan to develop a system that enables the rapid growth of plants and extraction of high-quality functional ingredients from them at a lower cost. We are also working on minimizing the energy investment into the system by utilizing energy-saving lights and unused energy sources.