Total Research Centre-Qatar (TRC-Q) has launched new research projects to investigate and develop clean energy solutions for Qatar and beyond.
“Total and Qatar University (QU)’s Centre for Sustainable Development have recently initiated two research projects using microalgae from Qatar to produce sustainable biofuels and for carbon capture, utilisation and storage. We have also signed a collaboration agreement with Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute to develop clean energy solutions,” Yousef al-Jaber, director of TRC-Q, said in an exclusive interview with Gulf Times
TRC-Q, located at Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), has been engaged in research in energy-related areas for the last 10 years.
Al-Jaber said Qatar as well as QSTP are an ideal position for TRC-Q as the research here is dedicated to Qatar and the Middle East.
“I strongly find that the ecosystem created in Qatar unlocks the high potential of companies to conduct world-class R&D projects and supports marketing results through innovation. QSTP is a unique model in the region, providing a great environment for research, development and innovation, and is in close proximity to world-class universities,” the official noted.
According to al-Jaber, TRC-Q currently has projects for analytical organic geochemistry and acid stimulation of wells to improve production, as well as flagship projects related to sustainable development, marine biodiversity, biofuels and solar energy.
Microalgae is a promising pathway to sustainable biofuels. TRC-Q is currently working with QU and universities and research organisations in the Netherlands, France and China to explore biofuels, an identified option for limiting transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.
Valvometry is another project about monitoring the health of the marine environment using pearl oysters.
By using innovative sensors, micro-electromagnets attached to the clams, it sends a large amount of data to the surface without disturbing the shellfish, and this data is analysed in a laboratory.
Tests for this project are currently being done.
QataReef project, in collaboration with QU and SeaBoost, is for coral reef restoration.
The project aims to see the possibility of transfer of a healthy artificial reef to a different location, which will lead to the enhanced recovery of corals.
“Our strategy for TRC-Q has been to develop innovation, and share them with our partner companies to act as a bridge between industry and academia. We develop real expertise that leverages the global research capacity of Total worldwide and directly benefits our partners in Qatar. This is where R&D’s true value lies, as we develop innovations that are not available anywhere else in our industry,” the official said.
Al-Jaber maintained that TRC-Q’s partnership with universities is an opportunity to strengthen ties between the education sector and energy industry
“We regularly conduct training and workshops for students from our partner universities in Qatar to interact with and inspire them. We just completed a seminar last week, AlReyada, for students interested in the energy industry, to provide guidance on topics relevant to the industry,” he said.
“TRC-Q’s presence in Qatar for over 10 years has been marked by the fruitful collaboration and partnerships with our key stakeholders. We have been innovating for over 10 years, and looking for ways to be more sustainable, to develop new technologies and solutions. The research centre is committed to sustainability and innovation with a clear vision of sustainable leadership and ultimate actions,” al-Jaber added.