Al Ain: A research team from the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) was able to accomplish a qualitative research project to extract the largest possible quantity of date seed oil for the biofuel industry. The project has been completed in two years at a cost of Dh1 million and the research results have been published in top-ranked international journals.
Commenting on the achievement, Dr Emad Eldeen Elnajjar, an associate professor with the Mechanical Engineering Department at the College of Engineering and a chair of the Research Team, said that the research findings were valuable for utilising 100 per cent of date seed wastes for the production of biofuels in the UAE. Dr Elnajjar pointed out that the goal is to examine the possibility of extraction of the largest possible quantity of biofuels from date seeds.
The study found that 90 per cent of date seed wastes after oil extraction was used in the pyrolysis process, so that fuels such as hydrogen gas, methane gas, carbon monoxide can be extracted. This helps in using 100 per cent of date seeds for biofuel production.
“There are more than 40 million palm trees in the UAE that annually produce approximately one million tonnes of date seeds, 100 per cent of which can be used for extracting oil. So, 100,000 tonnes of date seed oil can be converted into biofuels. In addition, about 900,000 tonnes of waste can be used to generate gaseous pyrolysis and the final waste product can be used in making fertilisers for agriculture,” Dr Elnajjar noted.
He explained that most of the data analyses were carried out in the UAEU’s laboratories.