Ongoing Projects

The Role of Petrochemical Sector in Contributing towards the National INDC in Saudi Arabia (2017 – Present)  

Institution: University of Vienna

Completed Projects 

Scenarios for Future Utilisation of Fuel Oil under New Sulphur and Carbon Regulations (2016-2017)

Institution: OPEC

Acceleration of Transition towards Low Carbon Technologies in Saudi Arabia (2016)

Institution: University of Vienna | Sponsor: KFCRIS

Systems Analysis of Low Carbon Transition in Saudi Arabia

Institution: KAUST

Techno-economic Assessment of Hydrogen Production Using Nuclear Energy (2013-2014)

Institution: IAEA

Synthesis and Characterisation of TiO2 nanoparticles (2011)

Institution: Tsinghua University

The project aims at investigating the effects of physical parameters (pH and temperature) on the coating morphology of Ni and Co on TiO2 nanoparticles, for potential application in hydrothermal gasification of hydrocarbons

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Underground Gasification of Hydrocarbons (2009-2013)

Institution: Imperial College London | Sponsor: Saudi Arabia

Synthesis gas and clean hydrogen will become key components of the energy industry. Their production from fossil fuels is likely to be a major source of these energy vectors and chemical building blocks for many decades ahead. Currently, all the hydrocarbon conversion steps are carried out above surface, starting from oil and gas extraction and transportation to dedicated plants, with any separated CO2 returned back to the fields. However, there are increasingly strong drivers to reduce the environmental impact of the oil processing industry, by e.g. minimising the “footprint” of such operations and leaving the undesirable and low-value material underground (CO2, heavy metals, sulphur). One novel approach, which could be key, would be the production of syngas or hydrogen via downhole hydrothermal processing/partial oxidation. This envisages using the sub-surface well system as a continuous processing and reactor network to carry out as much as possible of the required separations and conversions in the well system (underground) or close to it (at the wellhead).

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The goal is to radically reduce, by design, the overall environmental footprint (by minimising the number of species extracted other than final products, the number of external processing steps and the need for transport to/from the underground fields) while improving the overall economics of new fields and increasing the efficiency of recovery from conventional, mature reservoirs. This project focuses on innovative processes for syngas/hydrogen production from hydrocarbons. In particular, the project will address the reaction engineering and catalysis of the partial oxidation and steam or CO2 reforming of hydrocarbons and heterocycles under downhole conditions, enabling immediate re-injection of CO2 for EOR or sequestration and production of H2 at surface and in situ removal of heavy metals and sulphur.