PhD student BSc (Hons) in Biotechnology and Chemistry (Sultan Qaboos University, Oman)
Master of Science & Technology in Environmental Science (University of New South Wales, Australia)
Lecturer at the Sultan Qaboos University, Oman
Biofuels from cyanobacteria
The world is currently facing the considerable challenge of supplementing, and ultimately replacing, its fossil fuel-based economy with one based on clean energy technologies. A major focus in this effort is the development of liquid biofuels suitable for use in internal combustion engines, and a potential source of these biofuels is fast-growing microalgae and cyanobacteria. My research project will employ synthetic biology approaches to modify the metabolism of a cyanobacterium such that the organism is able to synthesise significant quantities of novel, energy-rich hydrocarbons. These different compounds will be evaluated in a test engine for their performance as fuels. Such tests will include the measurement of injection and combustion parameters, and exhaust composition. The research will therefore involve a combination of algal microbiology, molecular biology techniques including genetic engineering, extraction and gas chromatography-based analysis of hydrocarbons, and a battery of analytical tests relating to fuel performance in the test engine.