Faculty and Graduate School / Department of Engineering Tottori University

Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology

Chemistry and Biotechnology are bases for the modern industry. It is now well recognized that academic and technological breakthroughs in science can be realized most readily when two divergent principles in different fields are combined. Due to the diverse field of chemistry, the combination of varied scientific principles is becoming particularly important. Many phenomena found in nature are now explained in terms of the recognition of different molecules via intermolecular interactions, and the integration of the so-called biological and chemical fields is proceeding rapidly.

This department is aimed to train up well talented researchers who are capable of leading the present integrated field of chemical engineering and biotechnology. The department is designed to provide the applicant with not only a comprehensive understanding of the basic principles which underlie this field, but also with knowledge concerning the various fields of chemistry and biotechnology that are presently being applied in the production of new materials used in industry.

The departments are outlined below.

(a) Applied Chemistry Course

Chemistry occupies the central position of natural science. Various potential uses of a given molecule are probed through research aimed at understanding the structure, physical properties, and chemical reactivity of each molecule. An attempt is made to then utilize the unique properties of each molecule, to produce industrially valuable materials such as biologically active compounds, fine ceramic catalysts and other molecular compounds designed at the atomic and molecular level, and also to elucidate improved procedures for the production of known industrial compounds. The results of these studies will then be modified toward industrial-scale applications. Our goal is to achieve excellence in chemistry and raise researchers who are capable of leading in the field of chemical engineering.

(b) Biotechnology Course

It is generally regarded that living things represent an extremely complex phenomenon. It is possible, however, to understand a phenomenon as a system composed of large organic molecules, each with a unique structure and capable of mediating many chemical reactions necessary for life. In this course, a broad study of many types of bacteria will be performed in order to find novel genes and biological activities which have industrial applications. These useful biological phenomena will then be studied at the molecular level to elucidate various new applications which are not found in living cells. Also, by isolating, modifying, expanding or mimicking the processes found in living cells, these useful biological processes will be adapted to industrial uses. The course will provide basic and applied research opportunities and education to each candidate which will allow him/her to take part in the adaptation of biological phenomena in industrial and environmental control processes.