Bauer to bring in Engineering Expertise to support Scale-up of the Seawater Energy and Agriculture System
On January 17, the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) – a non-profit entity established by Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and supported by Etihad Airways, The Boeing Company, Adnoc Refining, Safran and General Electric – announced that Bauer Resources GmbH has joined the consortium as a Tier-1 partner. Masdar Institute is part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology.
Bauer Resources will bring expertise to the SBRC related to engineering design, construction, and operation of large scale water treatment facilities, which will help the SBRC in the ultimate goal of scaling-up the SEAS technology under development. Etihad Airways and Adnoc Refining are the other Tier-1 partners in the consortium already contributing to various activities of the SBRC. Founded by Masdar Institute with a number of the other current members, the consortium aims to develop and support technologies and approaches for producing sustainable bioenergy.
In September 2017, the Consortium’s flagship Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS) project reached a critical milestone in its development of sustainable aviation biofuels through the first harvest of biofuel feedstock. The SBRC team, composed of Masdar Institute researchers, harvested the first crop of Salicornia, the salt-tolerant and oil-rich plant. This development took place at the two-hectare Seas pilot facility in Masdar City, where seafood and sustainable biomass are being cultivated using saltwater and desert land, thus contributing to the UAE’s sustainable food and fuel security.
Dr. Steve Griffiths, Interim Vice-President for Research, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, said: “The addition of Bauer Resources as a Tier-1 member underscores the growing value and potential of the system being piloted by the Seas. As the world’s population increases and resources become more scarce, food and energy solutions that address the challenges of water and arable land insecurity will play a critical role in meeting mankind’s rising food, energy and water needs.”
Dr. Roman Breuer, Member of the Management Board of Bauer Resources GmbH, said: “We are very excited to join this idea of combining food production, waste water treatment and production of sustainable biomass. We are at the forefront of implementing natural water treatment systems in the region and we were experimenting on biomass generation, but the cooperation with SBRC will bring our efforts to the next level. We hope that our experience and contribution will help the Seas to become a significant element of sustainability in the UAE and abroad.”
Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said: “The success of the SBRC in enabling a future supply of sustainable aviation fuel is reliant on extensive collaboration. The addition of Bauer Resources to our team, and the strong technical expertise they bring, will be of tremendous help in driving this important initiative forward."
Bernard Dunn, President of Boeing Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey, said: “As founding members, we are excited to see the growing interest in the SBRC and the addition of Bauer Resources as a Tier-1 member.”
Dr. Mikael Berthod, Vice President, Adnoc Refining Research Center, said: “We are very happy to welcome Bauer Resources GmbH as a Tier-1 member partner. Their contribution will definitely support the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium’s effort to develop the Seas project. We are seeing the involvement of Bauer Resources as a great opportunity to expand our biofuel approach at a larger scale.”
In addition to the engineering expertise that Bauer Resources will bring to the Consortium, one of the most exciting aspects of their contribution is the ability to expand the halophyte agriculture portion of the Seas project to a larger scale in a short time. Bauer has designed, built, and now operates a very large water treatment facility in Oman, where the conditions are good to expand the halo-agriculture system. The research that will be conducted there will uncover important aspects needed for reaching the industrial scale needed for this type of biomass to make an impact as a sustainable alternative feedstock.
This partnership also opens the door to explore synergies between the petroleum industry and the production of sustainable biomass. The produced water that comes from oil well exploitation can be used for the generation of biomass for alternative sustainable aviation fuels, instead of re-injecting the water into deep aquifers, saving significant amounts of energy and improving the value chain for renewable biomass resources.
Source: Bauer Group