Toray developed a technology to green deserts and devastated lands. With the help of special fibers that resolve into water and carbon dioxide in 5-10 years, the technology makes it easy to retail sol moisture. Special fibers that Toray developed jointly with Mitsukawa in Fukui Prefecture are processed into tubulous forms10 cm in diameter and several tens of meters long, and they are filled with soil and lined up at regular intervals. The water retentivity of the fibers allows the surrounding soil to retain water. Even in an area where sunshine is strong, it is possible to retain water for several days. Simple irrigation facilities are enough to green deserts. The greening cost is estimated at 10,000-50,000 dollars per hectare.
Toray has been conducting the experiment to green deserts in alliance with United Nations Development Programme. Soil improvement using water retention materials has not spread easily, but an increasing number of developing countries invest in greening lately to increase food production and improve environment. Toray plans to sell the technology to South Africa. According to the Ministry of Environment, the world market of the greening business was about 2,600 billion yen in 2011.
Greening activities of the Hitachi group