Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Chemistry enriches our life

Features of the program

The education in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Program covers not only production of chemicals but also a wide area such as materials for nanotechnology and semiconductors, conversion of energy resources, food production, medicine, cosmetics, and environmental protection. In all of these fields, specialists with deep knowledge in chemistry and chemical engineering as well as broad perspective are required.
This program provides education and research for students who want to be researchers and/or engineers based on chemistry and chemical engineering. The students will obtain the creativity applicable to various stages of development, from invention of new materials by applying chemistry to designing/constructing/operating processes to put the basic ideas/findings into practice.

Program of education

The educational curriculum of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Program consists of KIJ Phase 1 (Knowing Is Joy) and KIJ Phase 2 (Knowledge Integration for professional Job), which aim to help students become talented people with a combination of the broad foundations and the high levels of specialist knowledge required to contribute to society in fields related to chemistry.

KIJ Phase 1 (Knowing Is Joy):

From the enrollment to the first semester of sophomore year, students learn the fundamentals of chemistry and engineering. This fundamentals includes not only natural science and basics of engineering, but also social science, communication skills, and engineering ethics, all of which are required for researchers/engineers when they solve the problems with the concern for their roles and responsibilities. For this purpose, subjects are provided for liberal arts , common basics of engineering, chemistry, and basics of applied chemistry and chemical engineering.

KIJ Phase 2 (Knowledge Integration for professional Job):

From the second semester of the second year, students select either the Applied Chemistry Course or the Chemical Engineering Course, advanced specialist courses which allow them to develop their knowledge and techniques and cultivate the ability to solve specialist issues. At the end of the first semester of the sophomore year, students select either the Applied Chemistry Course or the Chemical Engineering Course. From the second semester of the sophomore year, more specialized subjects are provided for each course. Students in the Applied Chemistry Course obtain the ability to design, synthesize, and analyze new materials. In the Chemical Engineering Course, students obtain the ability to design and develop processes/systems for industrial production. Both courses provide laboratory courses and exercise courses in accordance to the lectures of specialized subjects to improve the students’ skills and to strengthen their understanding of knowledge. Finally, in the senior year, the students conduct research works of their own research topics for their bachelor theses. In the research work, the students integrates their specialized knowledge with the professional skills to solve the problems required by the modern society.
In the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Program, the program of education is accredited by the Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education (JABEE), and students are awarded with a certificate marking their completion of a JABEE-accredited program when they graduate. Students who complete the program are qualified to register as associate professional engineers without needing to take the first stage examination for professional engineers.

Introduction to classes

Basic Physical Chemistry

Physical chemistry is the study of the constitution and properties of, and changes in substances. Chemical phenomena are interpreted in terms of physics using equations from the perspective of the energy transfer and the motion of molecules. In Basic Physical Chemistry, students study the basics of thermodynamics, which covers the energy transfer, changes in the states of substances, and chemical equilibrium. This subject forms the basis of fields such as organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and analytical chemistry.

Inorganic Synthetic Chemistry Students develop an understanding of chemical states, compositions, and reactions, etc. of substances, and learn about the investigation and molecular design of the diverse properties of materials using advanced analytical methods. They acquire specialist knowledge regarding the synthesis of inorganic substances with new functions that can also be applied to fields such as energy and electronics and skills that can be applied to the synthesis of inorganic materials.

Diffusional Operations I Diffusion refers to the movement of certain components and heat between different substances. Operations using diffusion occupy an important role in chemical industry. In Diffusional Operations I, we seek to grasp the principles of separation and concentration, with a particular focus on areas such as the elimination of impurities from raw materials, and the concentration of the specified substance. We then study the method of utilizing the relational expression that is acquired by applying those principles to each of the operations to determine the form, size, and operation conditions of the equipment.

Energy conversion of concentrated solar radiation into chemical fuels (hydrogen and synthetic gas).
This photograph is an aspect of reactor test using high power sun-simulator.
Development of cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries
Liquid/liquid junction extraction (separation of substance from one of the liquids)

Advanced research pursued
by the program

Approach for Environmental Protection and Resources Recycling-oriented Society

Associate Professor
Naoki KANO

The chemical technology is indispensable to produce many materials and products supporting human life. The chemical technology is employed in large fields such as using the resources and energy effectively, developing functional materials, preventing environmental pollution etc.
In our laboratory, the research related to environmental preservation and resource recovery is performed. Investigation on the development of an efficient method for the removal or recovery of pollutants (in particular heavy metal and radionuclide) in the environment and ecosystem using natural resources such as biomass (seaweed, shell, chitosan, alginate etc.), clay minerals, and charcoal is carried out. The research about environmental cleanup by phytoremediation (i.e., plant-based approach of remediation) is also conducted.
The water environment is one of the indispensable environmental resources supporting our life. However, environmental problem such as water pollution by the industrial effluent, domestic wastewater, agriculture drainage and eutrophication is concerned in recent years. In addition to the research of above-mentioned environmental preservation, the environmental waters in Niigata Prefecture (e.g., Sakata and Toyanogata lagoon waters) are sampled regularly for investigating the behavior of pollutants in environment for the search of sources or supply route of pollutants.
The results obtained in this research are widely presented in academic meeting and international conferences.

Plant growth in a plant environmental control system
[Left]: Chitosan, [Right]: Cross-linked chitosan (Pictures & SEM images)
Scenes in the laboratory

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Program

A research team of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Program focuses on the conversion of solar energy (sunlight) to hydrogen. They have developed a novel redox ceramic material (metaloxides) to split water to produce hydrogen via a two-step reaction cycle. This reaction cycle is operated at extremely high temperatures of 1000 - 1400℃. Such high temperatures can be attained by concentrating sunlight by reflective mirrors, called “beam-down concentrator”. This research team also invented a novel solar water splitting reactor (patented in USA and Australia) using concentrated sunlight by the beam-down concentrator. Niigata University, Miyazaki Prefecture, and The University of Miyazaki jointly built a 100 kW beam-down solar concentrator (Photo 1) in Miyazaki, Kyushu island, where sufficient sunshine is available, and started a R&D project of water splitting. This team also built a sun-simulator (Photo 2) with 19 xenon lamps to simulate sunlight irradiation in Niigata University. This team has started the demonstration of the solar reactor concept by using the sun-simulator and the 100 kW beam-down solar concentrator.

Photo 1
Photo 2

Licenses and qualifications that can be acquired

  • Licenses
    First class upper secondary school teacher's license (industry)
  • Qualifications
    Associate professional engineer (JABEE accreditation)
             Hazardous materials engineer (class A) (eligibility for examination) 
               Handlers of poisonous and deleterious substances (qualification)
             Safety engineer for manufacture of explosives (class A, class B) (exemption from certain examination categories), etc.