CRIS -Creative Research Institution- Hokkaido University

【Division of Frontier Research】Development of gas separation and storage system based on metal complexes

Cross-disciplinary research on metal complexes aiming at their early commercialization
Development of gas separation and storage system based on metal complexes
Dr. Shin-ichiro NOROAssociate Professor

Research Institute for Electronic Science and Creative Research Institution, Hokkaido University

In view of the skyrocketing oil prices in recent years and depletion of the petroleum resources in future, establishing the technologies for production of fuels and related chemical products from non-petroleum raw materials is an important issue faced by Japan today. As shale gas (natural gas extracted from the shale-beds) and hydrogen gas (produced from water) represent the candidates for alternate ingredients, there is strong need of technologies for (i) highly efficiency hydrocarbon separation, in order to achieve low-energy production of high-grade unsaturated hydrocarbons as chemical ingredients derived from the shale gas; and (ii) construction of the hydrogen infrastructure for storage of hydrogen at room temperature. Using the metal complexes characterized by sophisticated structural design and diversity as a separation & storage material, we have been developing the separation & storage process for efficient utilization of the shale gas & hydrogen gas, and at the same time, working further towards the development of molding (and processing) technology keeping in mind its practical application.


Following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami disaster of March 11, 2011, there is a pressing need for measures to various energy-related issues such as the shortage of electricity caused by the shut-down of nuclear power plants. Therefore, building a more efficient (low investment, simple and low-energy consumption) separation and storage process will have tremendous social impact.


In this project promoted together mainly with Professor S. Takeda from the Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University, and Professor H.-C. Chang from the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University, we aim at cross-disciplinary fusion/integration of the knowledge in fundamental science produced by the collaborators and the results of applied research gained by the principal investigator (S. Noro) at the Research Institute for Electronic Science, Hokkaido University. We consider this as a pioneering initiative for research on gas separation and storage system based on metal complexes at Hokkaido University. Furthermore, we plan to actively materialize collaborative research with private enterprises in order to materialize commercialization as early as possible.