Key technology of our researches is membrane technology. We are developing many applications for waste water treatment, protein separation, desalination, classification of nanoparticles, and studying transport phenomena outside and inside membranes, such as concentration polarization, estimation of steady state flux in cross flow filtrations of particles, and so on. Membrane bio reactors are now large application of membrane technology and membrane fouling is severe problem. We proposed technologies to prevent membrane fouling and we have obtained good results.
Hydrogen has gained much attention as one of the potential clean energy. Hydrogen is produced by steam reforming of hydrocarbons and then separated and purified by PSA. This existing system is complicated and energy efficiency is low. We could succeeded to develop high performance amorphous silica membranes through which only hydrogen permeates. This membrane showed the highest hydrogen permeance and selectivity against hydrogen in the world. Now we are developing membrane reactors using the silica membranes for steam reforming of methane and ethanol, dehydrogenation of organic chemical hydrates and production of propylene from propane by dehydration. We are also trying to develop membrane modules with silica membranes.
Microcapsules are important devices for drug delivery systems, and bio compatible and nano order size capsules are needed. We are applying membrane emulsification technique to produce such capsules and developing hollow capsules with size raging 10nm - 1µm.