Life and Healthcare
As an “environment and energy company” Group, Nisshinbo is harnessing the technologies of Group companies to develop environmental and medical products.
Carbodilite is a high-performance polycarbodiimide-based plastic material developed by the Nisshinbo Group. We supply Carbodilite in water-based, oil-based, and powder forms and as an additive in adhesive agents. Due to its unique highly reactive, low-toxic profile, Carbodilite can be blended with coatings, inks, and various plastics (polyester-based plastic, biodegradable plastic, polyurethane elastomer, and others) to improve the durability, adhesiveness, and other properties of secondary products. In the automotive, heavy-duty anti-corrosion coating, construction coating, and ink industries, demand for Carbodilite is increasing both in Japan and overseas in response to tighter regulations governing volatile organic compounds (VOC) and from the perspective of reducing the environmental load, because Carbodilite is a highly safe, water-based additive that can reduce required temperatures in drying processes. Also, in Europe and other markets, where rules on the use of non-degradable plastics have been tightened in recent years, demand for biodegradable alternatives is growing strongly.
Since Carbodilite helps to improve the durability of materials without any loss of biodegradability, it is increasingly being adopted for use in biodegradable plastic, so demand is expected to grow.
Well known as a pioneer of wrinkle-resistant shirts, of which it has sold more than 100 million items so far, Nisshinbo Textile Inc. developed the amazing non-iron Apollocot shirt, which is made of 100% cotton. The Apollocot has been highly acclaimed as the ultimate eco-shirt. Even if it is worn all day long, the shirt does not become wrinkled, and after washing there is no need for ironing at all. This Apollocot technology, which completely overturns our image of wrinkle-resistant fabrics, is also applied in such items as handkerchiefs, pants, and jackets.
Bio-carriers for Wastewater Treatment
Microorganism-based systems are generally used to treat wastewater from factories and other facilities. To improve the effectiveness of those systems, Nisshinbo Chemical Inc. supplies AQUAPOROUSGEL (APG) bio-carriers for microorganisms. APG is a high-performance bio-carrier that settles rapidly into wastewater, while its sponge-form provides a large surface area for bacteria to attach to and colonize. By introducing APG, it is possible to greatly enhance the performance of water purification plants. APG has been highly acclaimed in Japan, where it is used by leading water purification companies.
APG also contributes to water purification processes in other countries, especially in Asia. APG is used in distributed wastewater treatment facilities and in factory water treatment facilities in China, and in public sewage treatment facilities in the Philippines. Other markets for APG in Asia include Vietnam, Thailand, and Taiwan. In particular, in China, which has a huge population, there are serious environmental problems relating to air and water. To address these issues, the Chinese government is tightening regulations and increasing penalties for polluters. These tougher rules are spurring rapid growth in demand for bio-carriers in China’s water treatment market. We aim to expand our business in the market by stepping up cooperation with Chinese manufacturers to build local production and sales networks.
How Bio-carriers Work
In recent years, through the utilization of such digital tools as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, it has become possible to connect various physical objects and collect and analyze vast amounts of data from them. The Nisshinbo Group aims to contribute to monitoring services and the improvement of workplace environments with products utilizing smart textiles, which we see as devices that can collect more vital data than existing contactless devices.
For example, we are currently developing uniforms for workplaces where people are exposed to loud noise. Drawing on voice-recognition support technology from New Japan Radio Co., Ltd., communication technology from Japan Radio, and conductive textiles from Nisshinbo Textile Inc., we have created a uniform that allows the wearer to hear conversations clearly in noisy environments. Using the same principle, we are also developing a waist band that can predict the onset of labor pains. The band collects and analyzes information on the baby’s vital signs (heat rhythm, heart rate, pulse, etc.) and relays the information to smartphones or devices in hospitals and clinics. We aim to make these products a reality by combining the sensor development capabilities, data communication, and data analysis technologies of Group companies with our textile planning and procurement capabilities.