Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai teams with Jubail Pearl to develop regional biofuel sources

January 14, 2021 |

In the UAE, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Dubai has joined forces with Saudi-based engineering group, Jubail Pearl, to establish a long-term partnership that aims to generate sustainable sources of fuel to help diversify the region’s energy supply for a post-oil era.

The collaboration was sealed with the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and will begin with the production and commercialization of a sustainable biofuel, generated from the waste of the region’s vast palm tree crop.

An ancient natural resource that was once used for fuel to heat homes and bake bread, the palm tree has now found a future as a renewable source of energy thanks to the work of modern science. The initiative involves gathering the fallen leaves of the trees and shredding the raw material according to a specific process to produce biomass pellets that are both energy efficient and carbon neutral.

The technology is the culmination of years of scientific research initiated by a scientific team led by Dr. Yousef Al-Assaf, formerly Dean of the engineering college at American University of Sharjah and now President of RIT Dubai. The collaboration with Jubail Pearl will see the installation of a manufacturing plant in the Energy and Sustainability Research Center within the new RIT Dubai campus at Dubai Silicon Oasis, where final experimentations and small scale production will take place, before scaling up towards full commercialization.

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Category: Research

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