The research theme of this laboratory is “the development of new recycling technology for rare elements and the design of advanced materials”. Rare elements are essential to high-technology industries such as for semiconductors. However, on a global scale their reserves are small and producing countries are unevenly distributed. Reckless disposal after use leads to depletion of such resources, resulting in countries with few resources like Japan falling behind in worldwide resource strategies.
In order to resolve these issues and construct a resource-recycling and sustainable industrial society, it is necessary to recover and re-use the rare elements contained in waste materials. Therefore, industry must focus on two fronts in the future: technological innovation in the recycling of rare elements and the acceleration of industrial technology through the design of advanced materials made from recovered rare elements. In light of this background, I believe the role of this laboratory is to tackle the issues and solutions surrounding rare elements.