Posted on September 30, 2015

Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), a research and development entity under Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), recently organised Qatar’s first Industrial catalysis workshop entitled ‘A Roadmap for Catalysis Research- Qatar’s Perspective’. Held at the Qatar National Convention Centre from 13th to 14th September, the aim of the workshop was to understand the needs for catalysis research in Qatar within a global perspective.

HBKU is a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), and through this event and its on-going catalysis activities, QEERI demonstrates its support of QF’s mission to build Qatar’s innovation and research capacity, while helping to establish research priorities relevant to the chemical industrial development in Qatar. Catalysis is a science that accelerates chemical transformations leading to more complex molecules for versatile applications. In general, almost 90 per cent of the chemical industry has catalysis-related processes that contribute approximately four per cent of total investment in any chemical process.

In an introductory talk, Dr Mohammad Khaleel, Executive Director of QEERI, emphasised the role the institute plays in developing human capital in order to achieve the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV2030) and transition to a knowledge-based economy. “The catalysis research program built on QEERI’s current skill sets and resources will provide efficient and cost-effective ways for the petrochemical, fertilizer, oil and gas sectors in Qatar to address future opportunities” said Dr. Khaleel.

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The workshop was chaired by Dr Emilio Bunel, Argonne National Labs, USA, and co-chaired by Professor Matthias H. Beller, Head of the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis, Rostock, Germany. The workshop began with a series of keynote speeches delivered by a number of experts in the catalysis industry from Germany, Canada, UK, Netherland, and USA, and was followed by three roundtable breakout sessions. The topics included, ‘Hydrocarbon Processing Technology and Energy Related Catalysis’, ‘Gas to Value Addition’, and ‘Bulk & Fine Chemical Industries and Green Catalysis’.

Representatives from Qatar Petroleum; Qatar Gas, Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO); Qatar Fertiliser Company (QAFCO); and Qatar Fuel Additives Company Limited (QAFAC); Qatar Shell; ORYX-GTL; Qatar University; and Texas A&M University at Qatar participated in the workshop. At the end of the workshop, delegates created a list of recommendations to initiate such a programme in Qatar. As part of QEERI’s continued efforts to address critical national issues concerning energy, water, and the environment, the strategic development of a catalysis research portfolio at QEERI will provide an opportunity for the oil and gas sector in Qatar to build a robust relationship with the national research institute in addressing challenges in R&D related to petrochemicals, energy, water, and environment.

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