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Masdar Institute to Further Strengthen Collaboration with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization

Australian Organization Seeks More Students from Masdar Institute for Conducting Research on CO2 Post-Combustion Capture and Solar Energy

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 14 August, 2012 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced it will further strengthen collaboration with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the biggest research organization in Australia, in the field of carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) and solar energy.

At present, Adewale Adeosun, a student from the Chemical Engineering program at Masdar Institute, is spending his three-month summer internship at CSRIO, working on testing and characterizing new solvent blends using the available test facilities at CSIRO. At Masdar Institute, Adewale works in the Separation Technology Laboratory of Dr. Mohammad Abu Zahra, Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering.

The focus of Adewale’s research in Australia is on the selection, characterization and testing of amine-based aqueous solutions for CO2 capture applications. His thesis work is part of the Masdar Institute-MIT collaboration project between Dr Alan Hatton of MIT and Dr Abu Zahra on the ‘Development of New Sorbents Systems for CO2 Post-Combustion Capture’.

CSIRO officials in Australia have been extremely impressed with the commitment and the talents of Adewale Adeosun that they have requested more students from Masdar Institute to join their facility to conduct research. Currently, discussions are under way with Dr Paul Feron, OCE Science Leader, Advanced Coal Technology Research, CSIRO, on the number of students from Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programs at Masdar Institute to be sent to the Australian organization. Dr Matteo Chiesa, Associate Professor – Mechanical Engineering/Materials Science and Engineering, Masdar Institute, had met with CSIRO officials during his recent visit to Sydney.

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: “Our mandate is to build human capital and develop innovators of the future. In line with this and as directed by the country’s leadership, our faculty and students portray Masdar Institute’s high-caliber learning and the rich academic environment, through their dedication and involvement in research projects across the world. We are privileged to have students such as Adewale Adeosun, who are expertly guided by renowned faculty members, bringing us international acclaim.”

Dr. Abu Zahra said: “The scope of the collaboration with CSIRO in the field of CO2 post-combustion capture is focusing on three major areas of common interest – advance solvent systems, environmental impact of CO2 capture and process integration. On the solvent development, Adewale is testing some new solvent blends during his internship and the results of this work will be published and evaluated jointly by Masdar Institute and CSIRO.

“Another project we started at Masdar Institute is on the CO2 solvent thermal degradation and Hessa Al Shehhi, another student from Chemical Engineering is working on that project. We have Dr Paul Feron from CSIRO as a member of her research committee. In this project, CSIRO will support our data analysis and we will have access to their experimental data for the purposes of comparison and the work will be published jointly.”

Earlier in March this year, Dr Paul Feron had visited Masdar Institute for a seminar about the work and potential collaboration between CSIRO and Masdar Institute in the area of CCS. His visit was the starting point for initiating some collaboration on carbon capture and Adewale’s current student internship was the first step in this initiative. Dr Feron is currently spearheading Australia’s post-combustion carbon capture research and development as part of a global effort to reduce emissions from coal-fired power generation.

Dr Matteo Chiesa said: “CC is one of the topics we are actively collaborating, but there are a lot of ongoing activities in the solar energy domain. Masdar Institute and University of Sydney work together and publish together since we have found that we can complement each other. Last year, we published a feasibility study on the unique concept of solar assisted carbon capture that aims at making post combustion carbon capture more feasible.”

During his visit to Sydney, Dr Chiesa also met with Dr Sarah Miller, Solar Thermal Research Project Manager at CSIRO.

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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