Prof. Dr. Koji Enoki is a renowned researcher in the field of thermal engineering. He has gained global recognition for his groundbreaking contributions, particularly in enhancing heat transfer on the air side. One of his most remarkable achievements is the successful augmentation of heat transfer by several tens to a hundredfold. This was accomplished by effectively utilizing a lightweight heat transfer tube, weighing only a few grams, which can be held with a single hand. By passing approximately 300°C of dry air through the tube and cooling the outer surface to 5°C through boiling, Prof. Enoki achieved an exit temperature of 5°C, enabling the recovery of nearly 100% of the thermal energy.
Traditionally, the exit temperature would surpass 250°C, hindering efficient heat recovery in gaseous mediums and leading to significant energy wastage. To realize this feat, a heat transfer tube made of pure aluminum with an internal diameter ranging from 12mm to 18mm was employed. Within this tube, a metal porous material with 80% porosity, allowing for a highly porous structure, was filled to a depth of 25mm. This ingenious approach paved the way for Prof. Enoki’s groundbreaking accomplishment.
The findings of this research were published in Applied Thermal Engineering, a prestigious journal in the field of thermal engineering, in 2021. Additionally, they garnered significant attention when featured in the web magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), generating a buzz across various social media platforms. Notably, Applied Thermal Engineering maintains its position among the top 20 most subscribed journals in the field, even as of May 2023.
The implications of this achievement span a wide range of fields, with particular significance in the realization of waste heat recovery from industrial processes and efficient cooling systems for liquefied natural gas (LNG). Prof. Enoki’s ongoing research on snow power generation has also gained considerable traction, drawing attention from esteemed media outlets such as Nikkei Asia and creating a buzz in global discussions. Undoubtedly, Prof. Dr. Koji Enoki exemplifies the qualities deserving of the Outstanding Researcher Award.