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Department of Materials and Chemistry

Contributing to industrial competitiveness enhancement by synergistic interaction between materials and chemical technologies

We are developing technologies to enhance added value of functional chemicals, and to realize practical use of new materials, with strengthening value chains of materials through synergistic interaction between materials and chemical technologies in mind. Thus, we are aiming to contribute to the primary materials and chemical industries.

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New Research Results

A Prototype of Portable Ethylene Sensor

AIST developed a prototype sensor that selectively detected the plant hormone ethylene in collaboration with the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS). Ethylene gas concentration is a key parameter to quality control of fresh produce during storage and logistics. This portable prototype provides simple operation for measuring ethylene based on a novel detection method.

Figure of new research results Materials and Chemistry

Prototype ethylene sensor

Development of Technology for Continuous Alcohol Production Using CO2 as a Raw Material

Technology for continuous alcohol production using CO2 as a raw material was developed by AIST in collaboration with Hokkaido University.
In this technology, a metal-complex catalyst that functions to react CO2 and hydrogen with propylene to convert it into butanol, which is a type of alcohol, is immobilized on silica gel by an ionic liquid to make it a solid catalyst, which is known as SILP (supported ionic liquid phase) catalyst. By installing this solid catalyst in a flow reactor and performing the reaction, it was possible to produce butanol with CO2 continuously and at a 10-fold higher reaction rate.
Because butanol is one of the important products in chemical industry, this technology will promote carbon recycling. This result was published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, a journal of American Chemical Society (doi: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c02084).

Figure of new research results Materials and Chemistry

Continuous alcohol Synthesis process using CO2 as a raw material

Other research organizations

Research Laboratory

Open Innovation Laboratory

Since FY 2016, as a part of the “Open Innovation Arena concept” promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), AIST has created the concept of “open innovation laboratories” (OILs), collaborative research bases located on university campuses, and has been engaged in their provision. We are planning to establish more than ten OILs by FY 2020.

AIST will merge the basic research carried out at universities, etc. with AISTʼs goal-oriented basic research and applied technology development, and will promote bridging research and evelopment and industry by the establishment of OILs.

Cooperative Research Laboratories

In order to conduct research and development more closely related to strategies of companies, we have established collaborative research laboratories, bearing partner company names.

Partner companies provide their researchers and funding, and AIST provides research resources, such as its researchers, research facilities, and intellectual property. The loaned researchers of companies and AIST researchers jointly conduct research and development.

By setting up cooperative research laboratories, we will accelerate the commercialization of our goal-oriented basic research and application research with partner companies.

  • NGK SPARK PLUG – AIST Healthcare・Materials Cooperative Research Laboratory
  • UACJ-AIST Cooperative Research Laboratory for Aluminum Advanced Technology
  • VALQUA-AIST Cooperative Research Laboratory for Advanced Functional Materials
  • DIC-AIST Collaborative Research Laboratory for Sustainabllity and Materials

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