Welcome to "Chemistry of Biomaterial Utilization" Laboratory
Our research interests are mechanical aspects of various chemical reactions occurring in lignocellulosics, their major constituents (cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin), and their related compounds. We are making our investigations on molecular and/or atomic mechanisms of many types of lignocellulose-related reactions, taking advantage of our specific backgrounds of organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and computational chemistry.
Chemical reactions usually occur in the world of quantum – the world smaller than nano-scale. Molecules and atoms “living” in such extreamely tiny world are ruled by rows that are absolutely different from those of the macroscopic world that we usually recognize that we live in. In other words, their behaviors cannot be understood on the basis of our intuitive expectations. Molecules and atoms – they are fundamental components of all materials – behave in unusual manners – this is a very interesting fact but nobody knows why nature is made in such ways. “Rational understanding of nature” is one of the essential subjects of science. From that perspective it is highly important and interesting to understand (or try to understand) chemical reactions of lignocellulosics as above 90 % components of the biomass on the earth.
From practical point of views detailed mechanisms of chemical reactions are helpful for the development and improvement of various chemical processes. Biomass conversion processes that are under development worldwide are not the exceptions: they sometimes lack information on their background mechanisms and thier elucidation is highly desired. Thus, it also becomes our aim to provide chemical conversion processes of lignocellulosics with mechanical understanding and a clue to improve them.