The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, is launching its new Analytical Chemistry and Biochemistry (ACBC) Laboratory as part of its continuing contribution to the UAE’s indigenous research infrastructure and capacity.
The new ACBC Laboratory and all of the core labs at Masdar Institute are advanced research and training facilities. In this way the Masdar institute can increase advance research and prepare a number of researchers in UAE with the skill to operate and understand the results provided by the equipment.
Masdar Institute’s researchers can therefore do rapid process modification and development, enhancing and accelerating important research taking place in Abu Dhabi related to water, environment, food, energy, and industry.
So far, approximately 50 users have been trained on various pieces of equipment, which are relevant to many of the water, environment, and energy research projects being pursued at the institute.
The facility also avoids potential intellectual property issues that arise when working with external labs, as prior to the establishment of the ACBC, researchers used to send samples abroad for necessary tests.
Masdar Institute’s students also will benefit from the increased research capacity provided by the ACBC, learning analytical techniques and enhancing their thesis research by utilizing its equipment.
The biochemistry section of the lab will be used for the in-house characterization of the biodiversity under study at Masdar Institute “This is of high importance as the UAE is home to very unique microbial biodiversity which has the potential to be of use in for nutritionals, pharmaceuticals, water regeneration, high-value chemicals, and soil regeneration. This facility will also be used to drive the search for biological enzymes that can be used in industry to better degrade and process biological materials for use as energy sources, such as methane, jet fuel, and precursors for bioplastics,” said Dr Hector Hernandez, assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at Masdar Institute.
The new analytical chemistry section of the lab aims to help in characterizing products that are made from biological-based systems. This equipment will aid the Chemical Engineering Department in the development of new industrial processes for the production of high value and high demand chemicals. These processes can then be scaled up for use in industry. The information this section provides will help develop commercial applications.
More advanced lab facilities are scheduled to come online at Masdar Institute in the coming months, advancing the institute’s ability to contribute to the UAE’s economic goals.In particular the investments foreseen are in a water-technology lab and an electrochemistry lab with capabilities to advance research in energy storage and water, two areas of importance to Abu Dhabi and the UAE.