Akira Tomita


Professor Akira Tomita of Tohoku University is the recipient of the 2009 Henry H. Storch Award in Fuel Chemistry sponsored by the Division of Fuel Chemistry, ACS and by Elsevier Ltd. Henry H. Storch Award is given annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to research in the field of fuel science. Special consideration is given to innovation and novelty in the use of fuels, characterization of fuels, and advances in fuel chemistry that benefit the public welfare or the environment. Prof. Tomita has made outstanding contributions to fuel chemistry research with admirable innovations that have impacted several fields including catalysis, adsorption, coal and carbon gasification, coal pyrolysis, microscopic and spectroscopic characterizations of coals and related materials, synthesis of carbon materials, and environmental impact of fuel utilization. He has been a pillar of strength in integrity, quality, and elegant methodology for scientific research in fuel chemistry.

Over the last decade, Prof. Tomita has conducted innovative research programs on the synthesis of microporous carbons with nanostructures and NOx reduction by carbons. His earlier pioneering contributions to fuel chemistry research include understanding the role of coulombic interactions in adsorption, the understanding of the carbon- hydrogen reaction, and the scientific and engineering aspects of catalytic coal and carbon gasification. More recently he has been a pioneer in advancing the understanding of gasification mechanisms by tandem use of the most advanced experimental and theoretical techniques, combining thermal desorption and transient kinetics with ab initio computational chemistry. His contributions to unraveling the intricacies of coal pyrolysis have also been of great importance. In a series of important papers over many years, Prof. Tomita has demonstrated how powerful techniques (especially HRTEM) can be used for meaningful and insightful fuel characterization.

Prof. Tomita’s service on the editorial boards of Fuel, Carbon and Fuel Processing Technology, his leadership role in the Institute of Energy of Japan, his most recent distinguished responsibility as a Principal Editor of Fuel, as well as his active participation at and/or organization of many symposia of the Fuel Chemistry Division and the Gordon Conference on Hydrocarbon Resources, are a clear testimony of his commitment to the authoritative dissemination and archiving of fuel chemistry knowledge for the benefit of the American Chemical Society and the international scientific and engineering community.

Prof. Tomita’s illustrious research career has been exemplified with 197 original peer