“Nanotechnology for Energy & Environment”
Development of renewable energy sources and environmentally benign chemical processes are essential for sustainable development of human society. With this respect, our primary research goal is to develop new advanced catalyst materials and catalytic processes that can contribute to the aforementioned issues, especially by using cutting edge knowledge on nanotechnology.
“Catalyst Design by Nanotechnology”
Advanced catalysts with high reaction activity, selectivity and durability can be synthesized by the design of materials in nanoscale and/or molecular scale. Recently developed cutting edge nanotechnology and surface modification chemistry can provide a route for emerging technological challenges in catalysis, energy and environment. In our research, we will develop and use a new nanotechnology to design advanced adsorbents and catalysts with optimized structural, diffusion and catalytic properties.
“Lignocellulose-Based Energy and Chemical Source”
Now with declining petroleum sources, increasing demand by emerging countries, and political and environmental concerns on fossil fuels, it is imperative to find new chemical feedstock that are economical and sustainable. In this respect, biomass is the only sustainable source of ‘organic carbon’. Among various biomass-derived feedstocks, lignocellulose is the cheapest, most difficult feedstock to process. In choosing the biomass feedstock, we also need to consider the ethical and moral concerns in addition to the cost and processibility. Ethical and moral concerns always arise when edible biomass products are converted to biofuels. With this respect, lignocellulose feedstock seems to be only a reasonable source for production of biofuels and chemicals. The only limiting factor for using ligonocellulose feedstock is that low-cost processing technologies into liquid fuels and chemicals do not yet exist. In this respect, our ultimate goal is to develop a chemical process which can efficiently convert lignocellulose feedstock into liquid fuel source and fine chemicals.
“Green Chemical Technology”
Chemical technology should be developed in a ‘green’ direction that encourages the design of products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances and maximize the energy and resource efficiencies. In this respect, one of our research concerns is to develop chemical processes that can replace conventional chemical process producing hazardous substances. Our research interests includes economic production of hydrogen peroxide for clean oxidation, water remediation (by adsorption and catalysis), development of advanced hydroprocess catalyst for fuel upgrading, and new 3-way catalysts for the removal of automobile exhaust gas.
“Advanced Hydroprocess Catalysts”
Advanced hydroprocess catalysts with high activity and poison tolerance at the minimized use of hydrogen are highly important for clean and economic fuel production from low-quality crude oils containing high concentration of sulfur and nitrogen compounds to meet rigorous environmental legislation nowadays. Such hyrprocess catalysts can also be used for liquid fuel and chemical production from biomass via hydrodeoxygenation process. In our research, we will develop and use a advanced hydroprocess catalyst (e.g. HDS, HDN, HDO) with high activity, selectivity, poison tolerance and coke resistance.