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JST Press Release

January 23, 2019
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
5-3, Yonbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Photoelectrochemical Homocoupling of Methane under Visible Light Irradiation

Researchers led by Dr. Fumiaki Amano, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of Kitakyushu, have dealt with an important goal in energy and environmental chemistry, which is a conversion of methane (CH4) into valuable chemicals. Herein, they reported a photoelectrochemical (PEC) system for selective oxidation of gaseous CH4 under visible light irradiation at room temperature. Carbon–carbon coupling of CH4 to form ethane (C2H6) was induced by photogenerated holes over a tungsten trioxide (WO3) gas-diffusion photoanode coated with a proton-conducting polymer. The fabricated PEC system can realize an anaerobic activation of CH4 at low temperature with high quantum efficiency under low-energy visible light.

The research was performed in collaboration with Dr. Teruhisa Ohno of Kyushu Institute of Technology and Dr. Sakae Takenaka of Doshisha Univeristy, supported by the Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO) program.

Program Information

Research Area “Science and Creation of Innovative Catalysts”
Research Theme “Development of photoelectrochemical system for oxidative coupling of methane”

Journal Information

Ayami Shintani, Kenyou Tsurui, Hyosuke Mukohara, Teruhisa Ohno, Sakae Takenaka and Fumiaki Amano. “Photoelectrochemical Homocoupling of Methane under Blue Light Irradiation”,
journal, ACS Energy Letters, published online January 22, 2019, DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.8b02436.


[About Research]
Fumiaki Amano, Ph.D.
Associated Professor, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, The University of Kitakyushu
URL: https://www.jst.go.jp/kisoken/presto/en/project/1112072/15665555.html

[About Program]
Tsuyoshi Nakamura
Department of Innovation Research, JST


JST, an integrated organization of science and technology in Japan, establishes an infrastructure for the entire process from the creation of knowledge to the return to the society. For more information, visit https://www.jst.go.jp/EN/