Proactive new business development

The Sanyo Chemical Group has set “Achieve carbon neutrality as Interface Innovator” and “Improve QOL by performance through chemistry” as material issues on business domain. During the period of the New Medium-Term Management Plan 2025, we will focus on developing new businesses and products that contribute to carbon neutrality and improvement of QOL, with the aim of creating next-generation businesses that will open up a new growth path toward 2030. We will aim for the commercialization of new businesses and products at an early stage by continuing to inject resources and reinforcing innovative actions, including opportunities for strategic alliances and M&A.

Carbon recycling (CCU)

We have accumulated know-how in the design and manufacture of ionic liquids over many years through our main business of electrolytes for aluminum electrolytic capacitors. Currently, we are considering how to apply our ionic liquid technology to the systems that can efficiently capture and utilize CO2 (CCU: Carbon dioxide Capture and Utilization). CCU is expected to play a key role in sustaining the use of fossil fuels and the current industrial processes while controlling greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. It is also expected to achieve negative emissions of CO2 when combined with renewable energy.
We aim to apply our ionic liquid technology to the separation of CO2 from the air, which is attracting attention as a negative emission technology, as well as from flue gas through consortium activities involving engineering partners, municipalities, and other chemical manufacturers, without being bound by the existing business framework.

(Source) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry “What is CCUS Technology?” (in Japanese)

Energy (Organic cathode active materials)

As expectations for next-generation devices, such as drones and HAPS (High Altitude Platform Station), a stratospheric communication platform, are increasing, it has become necessary to develop light, safe next-generation batteries with high weight energy density in order to dramatically improve the performance of these devices. Also, from the perspective of sustainability, high-performance batteries are indispensable for promoting electrification and storing renewable energy, which are measures to achieve carbon neutrality. Current lithium-ion batteries are said to be close to the upper limit of their performance, and we are promoting material development with a focus on organic cathode secondary batteries as a type of next-generation battery.
Organic cathode secondary batteries are characterized by the replacement of current inorganic materials containing rare metals, used as cathode active materials, with organic materials, and are expected to significantly improve weight energy density. They also help avoid the shortages and soaring prices of rare metal resources and risks to their stable supply.
We will develop and manufacture the key organic materials, aiming to achieve early results in cooperation with partner companies.

Image of an organic cathode secondary battery

Image of an organic cathode secondary battery

(Source) SoftBank Corp. (in Japanese)

Agriculture (Peptide materials)

In modern agriculture, food crises due to labor shortages and abnormal weather, as well as the environmental impact caused by pesticides and chemical fertilizers, have become major social issues. Peptide agriculture, which we aim to put into practical use in FY2023, is a technology that maximizes the innate functions of plants by giving peptides, which are biostimulants,* to vegetables and fruit trees. Peptides are expected to improve in quality and yield through the mitigation of their damage due to disease and climate change, and to help reduce the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. By making full use of our fundamental technologies, such as interface control technology, we can produce peptides extracted from natural products, including unused resources, and fermentation-produced peptides derived from natural products. This will provide the world’s first agricultural solution using multiple functional peptides. As a pioneering attempt, we plan to sell peptide fertilizers and then provide peptide spraying methods suitable for each crop and techniques for preserving product freshness, with the aim of building a business model that contributes to the production of high-value-added vegetables and fruits.

  • Biostimulants:
    • This is a new technology that reduces plant damage caused by climate and soil conditions by controlling abiotic stresses (high and low temperatures, physical damage, etc.) to plants in order to provide healthy plants. Its global market size is expected to be three billion dollars, with an average annual growth rate of more than 12%.

Diagnostic and regenerative medical care (Extracellular vesicles: EVs)

In recent years, body fluid components, called “exosome-containing extracellular vesicles,” have been attracting considerable attention in medical fields that are directly linked to improving QOL, such as disease discovery and regenerative medicine. It is expected that the research market alone will grow to over 100 billion yen by 2030. Jointly with Tokushima University, we have developed EXORPTION®, a method for collecting extracellular vesicles from various body fluids with high efficiency, high yield, and a high degree of purification, by applying the body fluid component collection technology and know-how that we have cultivated in the in vitro diagnostic reagent business. By disseminating this technology, we aim to support new diagnostic and therapeutic research using extracellular vesicles, and to implement diagnostic agents to which this technology is applied in clinical settings.

Diagnostic and regenerative medical care

In vitro diagnostic medical products (Accuraseed)

Immunoassay-based in vitro diagnostic reagents are used for the purpose of diagnosing diseases, and their domestic market size reached approximately 250 billion yen in 2021. We have developed reagents dedicated to Accuraseed®* that use our unique magnetic particles, Magrapid. These are in vitro diagnostic reagents that enable rapid immunoassay in just 10 minutes. Since these agents dedicated to Accuraseed® were launched jointly with FUJIFILM Wako Pure Chemical Corporation in November 2015, their lineup has expanded to include 30 inspection items, including thyroid diseases and infectious diseases. This helps meet the need for rapid diagnosis in clinical settings. In June 2022, Sanyo Chemical Industries, Ltd. and FUJIFILM Corporation established FUJIFILM Sanyo Chemical Healthcare Corporation to consolidate the production systems for the reagents dedicated to Accuraseed® of both companies. We will strengthen our production base to achieve high productivity and respond to the growing demand for in vitro diagnostic reagents.

  • Accuraseed®:
    • Fully automated chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay system manufactured by FUJIFILM Wako Pure Chemical Corporation

Wound healing material and meniscus repair (Silk-elastin)

As Japan’s aging society progresses, an increasing number of people are suffering from diabetic skin ulcers, pressure ulcers, knee osteoarthritis, and other diseases. In particular, many patients whose natural healing powers have declined due to aging are finding it increasingly difficult to recover with conventional treatments. It is said that there are 150,000 patients with refractory skin ulcers and eight million patients with knee osteoarthritis in Japan.
We use the functional protein “silk-elastin,” which is under development at the company, for such patients to enhance their natural healing powers, thereby trying to heal their wounds (tissue regeneration) that could not be healed by conventional treatments. Since 2016, we have conducted clinical trials on skin defect regeneration and meniscus repair to confirm the efficacy and safety of silk-elastin. We plan to implement it in society by 2024 as a regenerative medical device “wound healing material” intended to regenerate refractory skin defects. We also plan to implement it in society by 2026 as a meniscus repair for patients with knee osteoarthritis. We aim to extend healthy life expectancy through silk-elastin to contribute to improving the QOL of the elderly.


Digital olfaction (Electric nose)

Reproduction of the five human senses is being actively studied in order to cope with the recent IoT trends and realize next-generation communication using the five senses. In particular, it is difficult to reproduce the olfactory sense, and products and services that visualize odors and aromas have yet to be fully and practically implemented in society. Digital olfactory technology, which digitally identifies and quantifies specific odors, is expected to be applied in the medical field and the life-related fields including food and beverages, and its market size is expected to reach $3.12 trillion by 2026.
The Group provides 3,000 types of functional chemicals. By using the technology and knowledge that we have acquired in this field, we have developed a highly practical electric nose that can be easily customized for various odors.
In addition to this feature, our electric nose is characterized by the ability to quickly and continuously identify complex mixed odors, which is difficult for commercially available gas sensors.
Toward the commercialization of electric noses, we are working on initiatives that use electric noses to contribute to the improvement of QOL. For instance, we consider the visualization of sanitary environment conditions to improve the environmental and enhance work efficiency as well as the visualization of the aroma of foods and luxury items. We aim for the early commercialization of electric noses to create new value through the visualization of odors.

Digital olfaction