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Joint Academic Development Centre on new generation biofuels for future clean energy and transport


This project will initiate joint research on the development and application of advanced biofuels for road and off-road vehicles.

Studies conducted by many government organisations and NGOs show that by 2022, biofuels will account for almost 8% of the global oil volumes used for transportation, representing a multi-hundred-billion-dollar market.

Through this project a joint collaboration on advanced biofuel research will be initiated with partners from United Arab Emirates (UAE). 


Project summary

UAE is a leading country in the world that is extensively producing and using crude oil-derived fuels in its transportation sector and continuously investing in new biofuel research and development.

The research collaboration will be initiated with Microbial Environmental Chemical Ecology Laboratory (MECEL) at Khalifa University. Khalifa University is involved in teaching, research, extension and innovation skills oriented for the formation of qualified human resources and the generation of knowledge and technological products.

It is essential for Northumbria University to collaborate with Khalifa University and research the advanced biofuels using the principles of green chemistry for next generation biofuel production in transportation and energy production sector.

Khalifa University academics visit Northumbria University and be involved in experimental research on new biofuel combustion in internal combustion engines for transport applications and electric energy production.

The new state of the art engine test cell facilities launched at Northumbria University will provide excellent infrastructure for successful realization of the project.

Through this collaboration new knowledge and database on biofuel research will be created, a number of early-career researchers will be trained and a joint Women in STEM programme will be developed.

The pre-industrial concept of implementation of advanced biofuels in transport and energy sectors ready for further technology development will be proposed. The outcomes of the project will be internationally disseminated via publications in high impact research journals and technical reports.

Objectives of the Northumbria-Khalifa Joint Academic Development Programme Collaboration

  1. To establish and nurture links with research active international HEIs and establish collaborative research platforms at Northumbria University and Khalifa University to advance the research in future biofuels, biomass and renewable energy.
  2. To complement research taking place in engineering at Northumbria and Khalifa and add to the growing critical mass of expertise in clean fuels, environment and system management.
  3. To train early-career researchers and post docs how to do research and develop an Emirate Scientist and Women in STEM programmes.
  4. To develop pre-industrial concepts of implementation of advanced biofuels in transport and power generation systems ready for further technology development.
  5. To develop new joint university courses and seminars in advanced biofuels.

Proposed activities and specific impacts they are looking to achieve, and the details of the methodology it will use to achieve them.

The proposed research will explore and test the technical potential of production and application of new generation of biofuels and its environmental aspects for future clean transport.

The main aim of this research collaboration is to develop pre-industrial concepts ready for further technology development.

New findings from this project will help to address global challenges and achieve targets set for future clean fuels and internal combustion engines.

One of the results of this research collaboration is that new biofuels will be tested and applied to a commercial heavy-duty diesel engine that is installed at Northumbria’s engine test cell facilities.

Through this collaboration Northumbria and Khalifa Universities will establish research network to train early-career researchers and PhD students via research in the national priority areas of UK and UAE.

This network will facilitate research workshops and seminars and attract academics, businesses and local government organisations to advance in biofuel development and commercialisation.

The context and findings of the proposed research collaboration will be used and incorporated into the curriculum of Northumbria’s Automotive Engineering programme and the similar programmes of Khalifa University. 

Project coordinators

UK Coordinator: Dr Ulugbek Azimov, Northumbria University

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UAE Coordinator: Dr Hector Hernandez, Khalifa University




Microscopic analysis of microalgae strains

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UAE visit - March 2019

UAE visit from Northumbria University on Vimeo.

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UK visit - November 2018

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Women in STEM programme

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Microscopic analysis of microalgae strains

Women in STEM programme

UAE visit - March 2019


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