Biodiesel produced from waste cooking oil (WCO) will help establish world class waste management systems, providing a platform for sustainable resource consumption. More importantly, it can bring down the five-to-six million tons of waste oil produced annually in Abu Dhabi, according to Rasha Abd Rabu, a Masdar Institute graduate and member of the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) program.
Rasha Abd Rabu, Master’s graduate Mechanical Engineering and a Research Assistant at Waste to Energy Laboratory, Masdar Institute, showcased her project titled ‘Dual Chamber Tubular Reactor for Continuous Transesterification of Waste Cooking Oil’ at the Rio+20 Summit organized by the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The event being held from 20-22 June in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil has gathered more than 50,000 participants from governments, companies and environmental and non-government groups to set new goals across seven core themes including food security, water and energy.
The YFEL member was one of the students in the delegation from Masdar Institute, participating in key events at the Summit in Brazil. Rasha Abd Rabu additionally participating in the Women Leaders’ Forum on ‘Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment and Sustainable Development’, while offering her support at the UAE Pavilion Theatre.
Providing details on her research, Rasha Abd Rabu said: “Environmental protection and conservation depend on reducing emissions and waste. Biodiesel, which has comparable physical and chemical properties to petroleum diesel, can reduce the presence of GHG and bring down harmful emissions. Through this process, I have discovered at the Masdar Institute laboratory that it is possible to minimize the negative impact on environment, while establishing world class waste management systems.”
Speaking at the Women Leaders’ Forum, Rasha Abd Rabu said: “Women should remember that it all starts with a few unusually brave and extraordinary women to take the lead and successfully make their way to become engineers and participate in efforts towards sustainable development and renewable energy. Emirati women should fully utilize the support the UAE leadership offers through institutions and organizations. Participating in furthering renewable energy, becoming members of programs such as YFEL, taking active part in conferences and forums that help engage women in discussions on sustainable development are some ways women can contribute to clean energy revolution.”
Winner of the best thesis award in the Mechanical Engineering program at Masdar Institute, Rasha Abd Rabu says the YFEL program has widened her horizons further in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability.
She added: “One of the main goals of the program is engaging the students with the leaders of today through discussions about the future of energy and seek sustainable solutions to the challenges of climate change. I am sure my participation in Rio+20 Summit has brought me benefits. We are all ambassadors of the UAE in Rio+20 Summit, and I hope I can share my experience about the UAE’s sustainable development measures, especially about my home Masdar Institute, with others.”
Established as an ongoing collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change through education and research.