The 2017 Prize

Professor Susumu Kitagawa, Laureate 2017 “Chemistry for the future Solvay Prize”

Pr Susumu Kitagawa - Solvay Prize 2017Click to enlarge

The 2017 Chemistry for the future Solvay Prize is awarded to the Japanese scientist, Professor Susumu Kitagawa for his work in developing metal organic frameworks, a new class of materials with a range of potential future applications, including the capturing of polluting gases.

Susumu Kitagawa is a pioneer and leading scientist in the field of metal organic frameworks (MOFs), a new class of nanoporous materials. MOFs look like small cages made from networks of metallic knots linked by organic molecules. The “holes” in the network are much, much smaller than the diameter of a single human hair and could be able to capture gases like CO2, methane or hydrogen to then transform them for usage in chemistry or energy. 

"I’m honored to have been awarded the Solvay Prize for the many years of research with my teams on molecular architectures called MOFs. Their unprecedented characteristics could in the future lead to a broad range of promising new applications, mainly related to their absorption and separation capability. These include gas storage and release, purification, drug delivery, insulating material and the management of indoor air quality,” said Professor Kitagawa, Deputy Director-General, Distinguished Professor of Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study and Director of the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University.

“Professor Kitagawa’s research could have great potential for future value and a more sustainable planet. Capturing and re-using gases, such as COor hydrogen, in these "cages" can help develop clean technologies to tackle climate change and open up new possibilities in energy storage,” said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay. “This research emphasizes how chemistry, as a science and as an industry, delivers solutions for societal and human progress.”

The winner is selected by an independent jury of six renowned scientists, including Nobel Prize laureates.