Environment Preservation Engineering

Seeking for sustainable system through a life style thinking about waste

Closing-up a society through waste materials gives us valuable suggestions to the establishment of a sound material cycles society. Our main topics are material flow analysis and the new model developments of sound material society under the backgrounds of basic waste management technologies as well as the environmental behavior of chemicals.
We take charge of environmental management of Kyoto University as the University's common facilities, Division of Environmental Management, Agency for Health, Safety and Environment. Therefore, we also work for the environmental and human safety and campus sustainability.

Academic Staff

Yasuhiro HIRAI

hirai.jpgProfessor (Environment Preservation Center)

Research Topics

Development of integrated policy assessment tools for material cycles and waste management.


Room 225 Research Bldg. No.2, Yoshida Campus
TEL: +81-75-753-7706
FAX: +81-75-753-7710
E-mail: hirai@eprc.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Junya YANO

Associate Professor (Environment Preservation Center)yano.jpg

Research Topics

Estimation of waste and resource circulation flows and life cycle assessment based on field surveys. Focus on researches that lead to social implementation and policy recommendations.


Room 219 Research Bldg. No.2, Yoshida Campus
TEL: +81-75-753-7711
FAX: +81-75-753-7710
E-mail: yano@eprc.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Research Topics

GHG emission accountings and life cycle analysis for the development of a sound material cycles society

We conduct material flow analysis (MFA) to understand the actual production, use, and disposal of materials and products in socioeconomic activities, and quantify the environmental impact of these flows through life cycle assessment (LCA) to provide basic information that contributes to the development of a sound material cycles society and transition to a decarbonized society. We also evaluate various recycling and treatment methods.
Specifically, we estimate the flow and stock of durable products with longer lifespan such as home appliances and automobiles; evaluate the environmental impact reduction effects of the widespread use of biomass based plastics; update the inventory of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from waste incineration by estimating the fossil carbon fraction in plastics, wood materials, and other materials. We are also working on the development of bottom-up models to calculate GHG emissions from waste treatment and recycling processes based on changes in production technology in the materials industry with an eye toward carbon neutrality.


Figure 1. Overview of material flow analysis and life cycle assessment

System analysis related to chemical substance control under a sound material cycles society

In order to control the risk of chemical substances in a sound material cycles society, it is essential to understand the environmental emissions from each process in the life cycle of chemical substances, including the recycling process, and the behavior of chemical substances in the natural environment. Therefore, we estimate emission inventories based on flow analysis of chemical substances and products containing those substances, predict environmental concentrations and exposures using environmental fate models, and conduct comparative verification and statistical analysis with observed data. We target persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as polychlorinated biphenyls and short-chain chlorinated paraffins, and heavy metals such as mercury and lead.Fig1

Figure 2. Estimation of total PCB emission through PCB control and decomposition measures

Research on citizen's lifestyle and environmental policy effectiveness

In social application toward the development of a sound material cycles society based on the principle of reducing natural resource consumption and environmental impact, the actions of people and companies are important. A social action model based on empirical confirmation should be constructed, the effects of policies should be evaluated, and the model should be used for institutional design.
Specifically, the effects of environmental policies will be evaluated by clarifying the composition and generations of single use plastic waste such as plastic carrier bags and food loss through waste composition surveys. In addition, by utilizing detailed composition data and online questionnaires, we examine effective environmental policies by unraveling the relationship between citizens' sorting and discharging behavior and the waste composition and sorting rate, etc.


Figure 3. Food loss observed in household waste composition survey

Environmental preservation and campus sustainability in education and research

By conducting fundamental research on effluent/wastewater, waste, energy, and greenhouse gases emissions in the education and research activities, we conduct researches to promote the construction of environmental management systems and the realization of sustainable campuses.
Specifically, we analyze data on chemical substances, resource and energy consumption as input data, and analytical data on experimental wastewater, plastic waste composition and generations, and greenhouse gas emissions as output data.

Laboratory Website