Science and Creation of Innovative Catalysts

Strategic Objects

Creation of innovative catalysts using diverse natural carbon resources

Research Supervisor

Hiroshi Kitagawa
Hiroshi Kitagawa (Professor, Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University)


In the modern society, oil is the principal carbon resource in the production of feedstocks that can be converted into chemicals and energy. To make efficient use of resources other than oil, such as methane and the lower alkanes which form the main constituent of natural gas, the creation of highly advanced technologies based on new ideas will be required.
This research area aims to create innovative catalysts that efficiently convert methane and lower alkanes into chemical feedstocks and energy.
Specifically, this research area will conduct research leading to the design and creation of advanced catalysts in reactions that can efficiently convert methane and the lower alkanes. Research on a wide range of catalysts will be promoted in this research area. Catalyst types can be homogeneous, heterogeneous or microorganisms. Metals, oxides, metal complexes and organometallic complexes, molecules, proteins, and etc. can take various structures, such as nanoparticles, nanowires, nanosheets, porous materials, cage-types, core-shell types. Also, research into external reaction fields such as light, plasma, and electric fields can be included in the scope of this research area.
This research area aims to pioneer new methodologies in nanotechnology and materials research for catalysts, through the collaboration with fields such as computational science and evolving measurement technologies, and to promote original and challenging research that could become the new mainstream science and transform the chemical industry in the future.

Research Area Advisors

・Ken-ichi Aika
Professor, The Open University of Japan

・Wataru Ueda
Professor, Department of Material and Life Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, Kanagawa University

・Nobuo Uotani
Professor, Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), Kyoto University

・Akihiro Okabe
Senior Researcher, Process Technology Center, Heterogeneous Catalysis Group, Mitusi Chemicals, Inc

・Yoshikuni Okumura
General Manager, Technology Development Department, Oita Complex, SHOWA DENKO K.K.

・Ken Suzuki
General Manager, Catalyst Laboratory, ASAHI KASEI CHEMICALS CORPORATION

・Yasushi Sekine
Professor, Applied Chemistry, Waseda University

・Yoshitaka Tateyama
Group leader, Nano-System Computational Science (NSCS) Group, Nano-Interface Unit
International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)

・Hideaki Tsuneki
Senior Technical Executive, Research Division, NIPPON SHOKUBAI CO. LTD

・Kyoko Nozaki
Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biotechnology, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

・Junko Nomura
Associate Professor, Chemical Resources Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology

・Takashi Hayashi
Professor, Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University

・Jun Yoshinobu
Professor, The Institute for Solid State Physics, The University of Tokyo

Year Started : 2015

Development of photoelectrochemical system for oxidative coupling of methane

Research Director:
Fumiaki Amano(Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Environmental Engineering, The University of Kitakyushu)

Rational design and construction of artificial enzymes catalyzing conversion reactions of light alkanes

Research Director:
Koji Oohora(Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University)

Creation of Metal Oxide Catalysts for Selective Oxidative Upgrading of Lower Hydrocarbons

Research Director:
Keigo Kamata(Associate Professor, Materials and Structures Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology)

Functionalization of Alkanes by Metal-Ligand Cooperation

Research Director:
Shuhei Kusumoto(Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, The University of Tokyo)

C-H activation of methane over homogeneous and heterogeneous hybrid strong base catalysts

Research Director:
Masazumi Tamura(Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University)

Creation of Innovative Catalysts based on Metal Nanosheets

Research Director:
Asami Funatsu(Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kumamoto University)

Development of Function-Accumulated Catalysts for Methane Activation by Surface Specific Oxo Species and Pulse Field

Research Director:
Satoshi Muratsugu(Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University)

Development of zeolite catalyst for direct conversion of methane into methanol, propene and butens

Research Director:
Toshiyuki Yokoi(Assistant Professor, Chemical Resources Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology)

Year Started : 2016

Development of Supramolecular Catalysts toward Methane Oxidation

Research Director:
Tomoya Ishizuka(Lecturer, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Tsukuba)

Methane activation in interface of semiconductor and porous insulator in the electric field followed by selective production of useful chemical resources

Research Director:
Satoshi Inagaki(Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Yokohama National Univeristy)

Oxidative upgrading of light alkanes by unsteady-state operation

Research Director:
Atsushi Urakawa(Group Leader, Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia)

Low temperature direct conversion of methane over multi-redox catalysts inthe electric field

Research Director:
Shuhei Ogo(Assistant Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University)

Activation of Oxidants by Circularly Arranged Vanadates

Research Director:
Yuji Kikukawa(Assistant Professor, College of Science and Engineering, Kanazawa University)

Eluciation of microscopic mechanism of catalytic effects via localized plasminon excitation

Research Director:
Takashi Kumagai(Research Group Leader, Physical Chemistry, Fritz-Haber Institute of the Max-Planck Society)

Unveiling molecular-level mechanism of photocatalytic partial oxidation and reduction of methane through operando spectroscopy

Research Director:
Toshiki Sugimoto(Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University)

in silico design of hybrid and nano-confined metal-oxide based catalysts

Research Director:
Akira Nakayama(Associate Professor, Institute for Catalysis, Hokkaido University)

Development of Bioelectrocatalysts for Methane Hydroxylation

Research Director:
Nobutaka Fujieda(Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University)

Development of metal sulfide cluster catalyst for direct conversion of methane to olefin

Research Director:
Takeshi Matsumoto(Assistant Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University)

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