Doha 28 November, 2012: Groundbreaking new discoveries by researchers and
faculty at Texas A&M University at Qatar has been recognized at the Third Annual
Qatar Foundation Research Forum.
The ‘Best Energy and Environment Research Program of the Year’ went to associate
professor of chemical engineering Dr. Nimir Elbashir for his multi-scale investigations
leading to the design of a novel Fischer- Tropsch reactor, the heart of the gas-to-
liquid processes that convert natural gas into ultra-clean fuels and value-added
Carrying a $US100,000 prize, the award, a key goal of this year’s forum, was
recognized to inspire collaboration for future research. Winning abstracts were
chosen based on quality, merit and relevance to the nation.
The abstracts were comprehensively reviewed by a committee comprising
international scholars, academics, researchers and members of the Arab Expatriate
The project is being done in collaboration with the University of Cambridge in
the United Kingdom, Texas A&M University’s main campus, Auburn University in
Alabama, US and Qatar University, as well as supported by industry advisory board.
The designed reactor technology treats a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide
obtained from natural gas utilizing a chemistry known as Fischer-Tropsch to
produce synthetic fuel, gas and value-added chemicals. The uniqueness of their
process is that it operates in a reaction medium that has properties in between the
gas-phase and liquid phase, known as the supercritical fluids media.
The research being led by Elbashir is examining new and more efficient ways to
undertake the process and the environmental factors that influence it with a view to
commercialization of the technology, the impact of which would be felt across the oil
and gas industry taking technology to the next level.
Elbashir’s research highlighted the ways in which research at Texas A&M at Qatar is
contributing to the nation’s goal to become a knowledge-based economy.
“It is a great honor to be recognized with such a prestigious award and it also shows
the depth of the research talent within Qatar,” he commented. “Qatar and the Qatar
Foundation’s emphasis on building a culture of research through the Qatar National
Research Strategy enable projects such as this to flourish.
“It is this environment that encourages “breakthrough ideas” and we are proud to be
involved in a project that puts Qatar firmly at the forefront of the industry. The award
is also a recognition of how Texas A&M at Qatar works collaboratively with other
universities both in Qatar and internationally, and our industry partners to come up
with solutions to real world problems,” he said.
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