Establishing theories in energy science.

Resources and Energy System

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Nanocomposites and nanoporous metals

Nowadays, metal/carbon nanocomposites (with carbon nanotubes) and nanoporous metals draw much interest. We investigate synthesis strategy and various properties (including catalytic, magnetic, electrochemical and mechanical ones) of these functional materials to tackle the issues of resources and energy.

Fig. 1. Biofuel cell with nanostructured metallic electrodes for production of clean energy.

Magnesium alloys

Magnesium (Mg) alloys are promising lightweight structural materials. However, their hexagonal close-packed crystalline structure, which critically lowers workability, limits the structural application of Mg alloys. We are currently designing the electronic and crystalline structures of Mg alloys to improve workability, using atomistic computer simulations.

Fig. 2. Highly-workable Mg alloys for transportation and energy applications.

Studies on pores and cracks in rocks

Evaluations on characteristics and progress mechanisms of pores and cracks in rocks are conducted for the sustainable supplies of energy and resources, since many energy resources such as oil and natural gas are actually reserved in pore spaces in underground rocks (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3. Micropores and microcracks in an oil reservoir rock (white parts).

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