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Masdar Institute Paper Wins Best Presentation Award at 13th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion in Spain

12 Papers from Masdar Institute to Portray Array of Advanced Research Projects at Event Held Only Once in Three Years


Abu Dhabi-UAE: 02 July, 2013 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced that a paper co-authored by one of its faculty won the best presentation award at the 13th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion in Spain.



Titled, ‘Linking thermodynamics and kinetics to assess pathway reversibility in anaerobic fermentations’, the paper achieved a combined peer review and presentation score above 87%, making it the the highest rated paper of the over 700 papers presented (200 oral and 500 poster) at the conference.



The paper was co-authored by Rebeca González, visiting PhD student at Masdar Institute, Juan M. Lema, University of Santiago de Compostela, Dr Jorge Rodríguez,  Institute Centre for Water Advanced Technology and Environmental Research (iWATER), Masdar Institute, and Robbert Kleerebezem Delft University of Technology.



Organized by the International Water Association (IWA), the ‘World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion: Recovering (bio) Resources for the World’ was held from 25-28 June in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. More than 700 scientific presentations were offered to delegates on breakthrough innovations and advanced technologies at the event that attracted academics and industry professionals in large numbers. The Congress is held only once in every three years as part of the IWA Anaerobic Digestion Specialist Group conference series, which were conceived as an international forum for discussion on state-of-the-art anaerobic bioprocesses.



Dr Rodríguez, was the co-chair of the Scientific Committee at the Congress, while Dr Jens Schmidt, Professor in Biofuels – Chemical Engineering, is a member. Both led panel discussions at the event.



A total of 12 papers were presented by Masdar Institute students, post-doc researchers and faculty. A poster on ‘Assessing biomass hydrolysis capacity of camel rumen microorganisms for bioenergy production,’ by Alya Altunaji, a UAE national student, co-authored by Dr Hector. H. Hernandez, and Dr Rodríguez. was presented.



Other papers included ‘Biomethane potential of biomass waste from the halophyte Salicornia bigelovii cultivated in sea water,’ co-authored by J. M. Uratani, J.R. Bastidas-Oyanedel, and Dr Rodríguez; and ‘Evaluation of pre-treatment conditions of biomass waste from the halophyte Salicornia bigelovii cultivated in sea water’ by T. Chaturvedi, J. M. Uratani, Dr Mette Hedegaard Thomsen, and Dr Rodríguez.



Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: “The scientific papers and poster presentations at the World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion strongly indicate the nature of the research being carried out at Masdar Institute and the caliber of the faculty guiding the students. With the support of the UAE’s leadership, we continue to elevate our profile in global events while driving innovation in advanced technologies. We believe participating in international forums will bring further progress in knowledge and human capital development for Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”



Dr Rodriguez said: “An event such as the World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion offers the most suitable platform to explore the advances, frontiers and applications for a more sustainable planet. In addition, the global and multidisciplinary audience at the event provides a compelling reason to participate and further raise the profile of Masdar Institute. Renowned international academicians are already aware of the extent of research being undertaken at Masdar Institute and this Congress will help us reach out to interested industry partners and potential students.”



Other papers from Masdar Institute include ‘Enzymatic pre-treatment of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste’ by A Nwobi, I. Cybulska, Dr Rodríguez, and Dr Thomsen; ‘Anaerobic digestion as key process in the biorefinery on Salicornia plant biomass: Simulation study using Super Pro Designer®’ by A. Alassali, T. Oyetunde, K. Rashid, Dr Robert Baldwin, Dr Thomsen, and Dr Rodríguez; and ‘Stability and structure of different microbial communities during dark fermentation of glucose’ by J. Bastidas-Oyanedel, R. Kumaraswany, and Dr Rodríguez.



Serving as a key pillar of innovation and human capital, Masdar Institute remains fundamental to Masdar’s core objectives of developing Abu Dhabi’s knowledge economy and finding solutions to humanity’s toughest challenges such as climate change.



Established as an on-going 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.

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