Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kyushu University | Research projects

Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kyushu University | Research projects

|   What is Chemical Engineering?   |   Research projects   |
|   Details of Education and Courses After Graduation?   |

Contribution to the prevention of global warming and to construct a safe and secure society!

Development of high-performance fuel cells by numerical simulations

Development of high-performance fuel cells by numerical simulations

Eco-friendly energy storage system developed with a private company

Eco-friendly energy storage system developed with a private company

CO2 recovery system from exhaust gas of heat power plants by rotary honeycomb-type absorbent

CO2 recovery system from exhaust gas of heat power plants by rotary honeycomb-type absorbent

It has become globally the top priority to reduce the amount of emission of carbon dioxide that is considered to be a major cause of rapid global warming. Most carbon dioxide is emitted when fossil energy such as petroleum, coal, and natural gas is burnt to generate energy at power plants, as well as manufacturing plants and by cars, etc. Although nuclear power plants are used as one of the measures to generate energy, the number of them will not increase substantially in the future because of a difficulty in processing nuclear waste and of a dismantling issue of aged nuclear power plants. Utilization of renewable energy such as solar, wind and biomass energy is being reviewed, but the amount of such energy is not sufficient enough to cover all of the demands. With the exception of the distant future, at least for the next several decades it is a fact that fossil energy shall have to be utilized to meet demands. As one of the energy utilization issues, it is pointed out that only about one third of energy of the total amount consumed is effectively utilized and that the remaining amount of energy is uneconomically wasted as thermal energy. If this thermal energy wasted uneconomically is able to be effectively utilized, the consumption of fossil energy is able to be cut down, resulting in a reduction of the amount of emission of carbon dioxide.

In this course development and technical advantages are being conducted on the following global issues such as fuel cells with high energy efficiency, making effective utilization of technology involving thermal energy wasted uneconomically, power generating equipment with the utilization of biomass and alternative fuel for petroleum, technology to retrieve carbon dioxide generated before being discharged into the atmosphere, a bidirectional transforming system utilizing reaction between material and thermal energy, etc.

Furthermore, it goes without saying that this equipment and operating plant shall be operated safely and stably. A keyword of a coming society is to construct a “secure and safe” society. Then, the following developments are also being performed such as advanced operation control systems for stable operation of plants, and supporting systems of safety assessment, failure diagnosis systems, malfunction diagnosis systems of equipment, etc. for stable operation of plants.

Biochemical engineering creating highly advanced medical treatment

Drug-producing chickens
Microcapsule for cell encapsulation

Microcapsule for cell encapsulation

Heart muscle cell sheet fabricated by nanotechnology

Heart muscle cell sheet fabricated by nanotechnology

Liver cell organoids

Liver cell organoids

With the progress of recent molecular biology, pathogenic mechanisms have become clear for various diseases and coupled with medical technologies new approaches to therapy for many intractable diseases have been developed. Reviews, however, are required on effective production of curative medicines and on further development of the curative effects for these approaches to therapy to be practically utilized. At the same time, development of totally new effective technologies is also expected.

On organ transplantation, there are many problems to be promptly solved such as the constant lack of donor organs, etc. Biochemical engineering is able to play a very important role for the development of these new technologies and for problem solution. Using these as our research background, we conduct pioneering and utilization-oriented research in this course on such as the development of gene transfer techniques, the development of highly functional drugs and the construction of their mass production process employing genetically modified birds, the development of cancer treatment techniques without side-effects, the creation of highly functional bio-materials, the development of organoid formation techniques that to lead regenerative medicine, the development of hybrid artificial livers for human clinical medicine.

In addition, we make full use of biotechnology, energetically propelled research and education covering vast areas of bioengineering that address daily-life relations to the creation of highly advanced medical technologies, such as research on the activity enhancement and functional modification of biomolecules including enzymes and research on stem cells including embryonic stem cells envisioning future regenerative medicine.
picture

Nanotech - Propellant for Functional Material Development

Silica nano-particles encapsulating 2-3nm metal particles

Silica nano-particles encapsulating 2-3nm metal particles

Structure of silica aerogels synthesized within a supercritical fluid

Structure of silica aerogels synthesized within a supercritical fluid

Glass-ceramics manufactured by means of the structural control of silica nano-particles

Functional transparent nanomaterials for optical,electronic and bioengineering fields

The development of science and technology has made it possible to synthesize and design structure-controlled materials on the order of a nano-scale (10-9m). Downsizing materials technologies to nano-scale allows us to reduce the usage of valuable resources such as precious metals, as well as to exploit distinctive chemical and physical characteristics that have never been attainable before. This field of nano-scale materials study is called Nanotechnology. Constructing highly functional devices from nano-scale materials with simple functions requires combination and organization of multiple nano-scale materials. Thus, in this chemical engineering course, we not only synthesize and design nano-scale materials, but also combine and organize them by full use of studies and technologies in physical chemistry, reaction engineering, biochemistry and so on, in order to develop highly functional nano-scale devices. For example, we are working on silica (SiO2), which is one of the most common and inexpensive inorganic materials, to apply it to nano-scale devices.

By synthesizing silica utilizing a micro-emulsion –a state in which nano-scale water droplets are contained within an organic solvent, sphere-shaped silica particles can be synthesized, which are well-controlled to have diameter range of 10-100nm, and also the encapsulation of metal particles with diameters of few nanometers into the core of the sphere-shaped silica particles, i.e., combination of nano-scale silica and metal particles has been achieved. This material is being closely watched in such technical fields as enzyme materials, hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell electrodes and optical materials. And also, we are studying to synthesize silica in a supercritical fluid. Supercritical fluid is a highly dense fluid that is in the region above critical temperature and pressure, and is a distinctive fluid that has both the nature of a liquid and a gas. Creating silica in a supercritical fluid allows the production of silica aerogels with silica particles with the diameter of approximately 2-3nm being organized. Silica aerogel, which has a larger specific surface, superior transparency and heat insulation than conventional silica, is expected to be utilized in such technical fields as an enzyme carrier and adsorbent.

Also, Nano-scale glass-ceramic materials can be designed through highly organizing nano-scale silica. In accordance with the development of IT technologies, there is a growing demand for new optical glass-ceramics materials. Although the general composition of glass is silica that is inexpensive, traditionally it has been impossible to synthesize glass-ceramics directly from silica particles. However, examining basic information such as the structures, physical properties, etc. of silica successfully has allowed the manufacture from the inexpensive silica particles of glass-ceramics that are highly valued and applicable to semiconductors, optical materials, and medical applications. As mentioned above, even with ordinary materials just around ourselves, if we mobilize full knowledge of chemical engineering, nano-scale device construction becomes achievable.
Back to TOP