Scientists in Oman Working on Extracting Fuel out of Agricultural Waste


Published Date : Jul 28, 2015

The shrinking natural resources are pushing scientists all over the world to come up with more sustainable and alternative energy sources. Currently, several crops such as algae and others are being researched to understand the feasibility of theirs a biofuel. Furthermore, another challenge scientist’s face is applying these alternative energy sources/biofuels in vehicles.

A team of scientist and academics based in Oman have undertaken a research project to check feasibility of producing biofuel from agricultural and biological waste. According to these scientists, they will lay down the foundation in Oman for the biofuel industry. The principal investigator in the research, Mohab Al-Hinai, who is an assistant professor in the department of biology at the Sultan Qaboos University stated that though this research is employing the local biological stocks, the product is expected to be of global interest and will fall under the umbrella of the global effort to find alternative energy sources to cut down on carbon emissions.

The rising concerns related to shrinking oil supplies and global warming are attracting attention to greener processes that are expected to be eco-friendly and sustainable. Furthermore, biofuels are called as green gold fuels, as they are renewable and carbon neutral.

According to Mohab, their research is critical and could be a path breaking one for the renewable power industry. He said that they are currently using agricultural waste that includes date palm pits and photosynthetic microorganism. The production process is expected to be optimized in a lab environment to ensure that maximum biofuel yield is produced at minimum costs.

According to other principal investigator, Ala’a al Muhtaseb, a majority of their research is going to be applied to their key organism which is Clostridium acetobutylicum and will also include several other promising local microorganisms. Furthermore, the biofuel production will be attempted in an industrial set up and the final results will show a conceptual design of the biofuel production that is based on a bio-refinery concept.