Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Takaaki Tomai

ProfessorAdvanced Basic Science

Research Fields Material Process Engineering, Nanomaterial Science, Chemical Engineering
Research Subjects
  • Material conversion processes for carbon circulation
  • Multi-scale structural control of materials based on science of dynamic interfaces
  • Development and application of hydrothermal electrochemical process
Academic Society Membership The Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan, The Chemical Society of Japan, The Japan Society of Applied Physics
Research Outline Creation of nanomaterials and processes for carbon-neutral society

To realize carbon-neutral society, various units consisting of society are forced to change. In particular, the chemical industries, which relies heavily on fossil resources for raw materials, must change their traditional system depending on fossil resources and realize a new route to synthesize chemical products from CO2, waste plastics, and biomass, thereby creating a new carbon cycle. Our aim is to solve this challenge through the development of new nanomaterials, processes, and systems.

The distinctive feature of our research is the use of "supercritical fluids" for material and process control. In the supercritical region, the solvent properties can be drastically changed by a slight manipulation of temperature and pressure. For example, water and gas (CO2), water and organic compounds (waste plastic, biomass, etc.), which normally separate into two phases, can form a homogeneous phase under the supercritical condition. Using the features of supercritical fluids, we have realized size and shape control of nanomaterials using organic-inorganic interactions, and have proposed new processes such as low-temperature reforming of hydrocarbons with less CO2 emissions using nanomaterials.

In recent years, we have incorporated electrochemistry as a new driving force for mass transport/reaction and as an analytical method, and are attempting to achieve further controllability of supercritical nanomaterial synthesis, as well as higher efficiency and speed in supercritical processes. Our major goal is to realize a highly efficient process for converting hydrocarbons and CO2 into chemical feedstock through supercritical process design that controls multi-scale structure of nanomaterials and that maximizes the advantage of nanomaterials, and to propose a promising future society, taking into consideration not only changes in material flow but also in human behavior.

Related Posts