19 December 2016
RIYADH: A Saudi-British research team from the Excellence Center of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Oxford University for joint petrochemicals research has discovered a new fast and safe way to convert heavy petroleum hydrocarbons to hydrogen gas in large quantities and at high speed using a catalyst to create a chemical reaction using a developed microwave reactor.
The Excellence Center at (KACST) said in a press statement that the scientific Nature Magazine mentioned the new discovery in its latest edition, saying it could pave the way for hydrogen-fueled cars.
This comes as part of the projects and initiatives carried out by King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology to realize the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision.
The discovery is considered an important and new scientific idea that takes advantage of the heavy oil in Saudi Arabia, and the petroleum acquired from the petrochemical processes for hydrogen production, and its use in the fuel cells of vehicles.
It could also be a way to market oil as this method is considered helping the environment as a source of green energy.
The Center of Excellence said that researchers from King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and the British universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Cardiff began working in 2010 and succeeded in registering a large number of global patents, as well as publishing research papers in professional journals.
Hydrocarbons are natural, hydrogen-rich resources with well-established infrastructures, but refining techniques have faced many challenges.