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The biggest scientific challenge in the 21th century is to develop a green chemical process and new alternative energy sources that can replace the fossil fuels. In this regard, the ultimate goal of our research center is to synthesize new functional nanoporous materials such as hierarchical zeolites, mesoporous silicas, carbons, and organic-inorganic composite materials that can be used for advanced applications in the production of alternative energy sources and in the green chemical processes.
The nanoporous materials to be generated in the present research are expected to exhibit greatly enhanced catalytic activity in the partial oxidation reaction of organic compound for its special property of the limiting and controlling the molecular movement and collision and the strong electric field effect through ion concentration control. In addition, hierarchically nanoporous structures would enhance the molecular diffusion which can remarkably retard the catalyst deactivation process. The synthesis of such nanostructured catalysts is global companies, such as ExxonMobil, invested huge amount of research fund for many decades. Therefore, the development of the environmental-friendly and highly functional catalyst materials are expected to be highly advantageous through this research project in a close future. For example, the materials could be applied to the MTG process (Methanol to Gasoline process: a method of producing liquid hydrocarbons for use as synthetic fuel from methanol by heating with zeolite catalyst), which is recently drawing worldwide attention because of the rising cost of the fossil fuels.