Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is launching its new Analytical Chemistry and Biochemistry, ACBC, Laboratory as part of its continuing contribution to the UAE's indigenous research infrastructure and capacity.
"The new ACBC Laboratory and all of the core labs at Masdar Institute are advanced research and training facilities. Our main focus is to increase advance research and increase the number of researchers in the UAE with the skills to operate and understand the results provided by the equipment. These core labs serve as research support, which significantly frees up the time of Masdar Institute's faculty and student researchers to concentrate on what they do best, come up with great ideas and figure out how to make them work," said Mike Tiner, Director of Labs at Masdar Institute.
Having this indigenous facility allows Masdar Institute's researchers to carry out rapid process modification and development, enhancing and accelerating important research taking place in Abu Dhabi related to water, environment, food, energy, and industry.
The lab also provides training on its instruments for faculty, researchers and students to ensure they are able to best take advantage of its advanced analytical chemistry and biochemistry instruments. So far, approximately 50 users have been trained on various pieces of equipment, which are relevant to many of the water, environment, and energy research projects being pursued at the institute.
"The biochemistry section of the lab will be used for the in-house characterisation of the biodiversity under study at Masdar Institute," explained Dr. Hector Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Chemical And Environmental Engineering at Masdar Institute.
"This is of high importance, as the UAE is home to very unique microbial biodiversity which has the potential to be of use in for nutritionals, pharmaceuticals, water regeneration, high-value chemicals, and soil regeneration. This facility will also be used to drive the search for biological enzymes that can be used in industry to better degrade and process biological materials for use as energy sources, such as methane, jet fuel, and precursors for bioplastics," he added.
More advanced lab facilities are scheduled to come online at Masdar Institute in the coming months, advancing the institute's ability to contribute to the UAE's economic goals. The institute has partnered with Masdar to create the Masdar Solar Hub, which was recently launched.
"We will also be investing significantly in a water-technology lab and an electrochemistry lab with capabilities to advance research in energy storage and water, two areas of importance to Abu Dhabi and the UAE," Tiner said.