Distinguished Visiting Fellow and Academician Dr. Sunney Chan has won the 2018 TASCO Lifetime Achievement Award in Chemistry on December 15, 2018. Dr. Chan has discovered how methanotrophic bacteria convert methane into methanol under ambient conditions and invented a catalyst that will perform the same chemistry in the laboratory. His research group has applied this know-how to develop a technology platform to control methane emissions from various sources. Like carbon dioxide, methane is a serious greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Dr. Chan hopes that this technology could be also developed further to create a robust catalyst for industrial applications, liquefying shale gas from sedimentary rocks and natural gas deposits from the ocean floor, and converting the liquid methanol into feedstocks for value-added chemicals.
The TASCO Award recognizes innovations in fundamental chemistry that has the potential to develop into technologies with industrial applications and benefit the needs of society by awarding the winner with a trophy and NTD100,000 scholarship.
Dr. Chan has previously served as Director of the Institute of Chemistry (1997-1999) and Vice President of Research (1999-2003). He is known for establishing the Taiwan International Graduate Program at Academia Sinica and for creating the research infrastructure to promote genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics in life science research in Taiwan.