TANAKA Holdings Co., Ltd. (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director & CEO: Koichiro Tanaka) announced today that TANAKA Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director & CEO: Koichiro Tanaka), which operates the TANAKA Precious Metals manufacturing business, has received the 2020 Technology Award from the Catalyst Manufacturers Association, Japan, (CMAJ).

The award was in recognition of the company's joint development of a hydrophobic precious metal catalyst in collaboration with the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (Headquarters: Chiba-shi, Chiba; President: Toshio Hirano; QST). Hitoshi Kubo, from TANAKA, and Yasunori Iwai, from QST, received the award and gave an acceptance speech at the 2020 CMAJ award ceremony, held online on October 14.

Examples of Hydrophobic Precious Metal Catalyst Products

The hydrophobic precious metal catalyst for which the Technology Award was received was developed through a collaboration between TANAKA and QST. It was developed as an ambient-temperature hydrogen oxidation technology for ITER and other nuclear fusion facilities. With its hydrophobicity enabling the catalytic reaction to be maintained even at ambient temperatures, it is used for hydrogen oxidation reactions. With conventional catalysts, moisture in the reaction gas and water vapor generated during reactions cover the catalyst surface and stop the catalytic reaction, so they must be heated to prevent the water vapor coating from occurring. Also, normal catalysts use plastic as the carrier, which makes them heat sensitive, causing combustion to occur as the temperature of the catalyst increases through the reaction.

This newly developed catalyst employs an inorganic material, which has better resistance to heat and radiation than plastic, as its underlying carrier. The carrier has a hydrophobic group attached (a substance that is difficult to mix with water), which creates a uniform hydrophobic surface to the carrier to improve its hydrophobic and heat-resistant properties. According to internal testing at TANAKA, a precious metal catalyst consisting of this carrier coated with platinum can maintain hydrophobicity for 24 hours at a temperature of 450 degrees C.

This catalyst can be used for oxidation reactions of hydrogen and combustible gases, in nuclear fusion facilities and elsewhere, without the need for heaters and other equipment. It also enables reactions in outdoor environments without access to an electric power source or in disaster-affected areas during power failures. Because of the hydrophobic properties of this catalyst, it has potential applications in safety equipment to prevent explosions and other accidents. It is particularly promising for use in infrastructure development for the hydrogen energy society.

[2020 Technology Award from Catalyst Manufacturers Association, Japan]
- Category: Technology Award
- Recipients:
-- Hitoshi Kubo, TANAKA Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K.
-- Yasunori Iwai, National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology
- Recognition: Development of a hydrophobic precious metal catalyst

Source: ACN Newswire

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