UAE: Khalifa University students present new biosensor to detect Covid-19 in wastewater

The academic institution is showcasing several innovative clean and sustainable energy technology solutions at the World Future Energy Summit

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Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Tue 17 Jan 2023, 2:19 PM

Last updated: Tue 17 Jan 2023, 3:32 PM

Khalifa University of Science and Technology is showcasing several innovative clean and sustainable energy technology solutions at the World Future Energy Summit 2023 during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2023, the global initiative championed by the UAE.

At the event being held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec), the Khalifa University stand is presenting the Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS) project, the concentrated solar thermal technology, and an artificial intelligence (AI) software tool for grid integration.

Khalifa University’s Centre for Membranes and Advanced Water Technologies (CMAT) is presenting a fabricated biosensor for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical and wastewater samples, a new technology for turning desalination waste into structural materials, and a solar desalination technology.

An overview of the Research and Innovation Centre for Graphene and 2D Materials (RIC-2D) and the potential of graphene in relation to energy, water, construction and light-weighting is also part of the display at the Khalifa University stand.

Khalifa University’s faculty is also leading various workshops and conference sessions at the WFES 2023, while 35 student members of outreach initiatives such as the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) program, along with members of the Khalifa University-Sustainable Development Goals (KU-SDG) Ambassador program will be participating at the Youth 4 Sustainability (Y4S) platform.

Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University, said: “Khalifa University’s projects and research initiatives being presented during ADSW 2023 target a range of stakeholders from the sustainability and clean energy industry spectrum.

“As a top-ranked academic institution, we believe our initiatives will make a marked difference in the global arena, and will contribute not only to the UAE’s Net Zero commitment, but also support policymakers, industry leaders, investors and entrepreneurs who are working towards impactful dialogue in accelerating climate progress, especially towards the upcoming COP28.”

Dr Steve Griffiths, Senior Vice-President, Research and Development, and Professor of Practice, Khalifa University, is participating in a panel titled ‘Green Hydrogen Innovation Stocktake’ at the Green Hydrogen Summit. Dr Griffiths will focus on the noteworthy innovations and solutions, innovation spread across the entire value chain, and ways to accelerate the shift from R&D to implementation stage.

He is also participating in the closed-session round-table discussion titled ‘Climate-resilient Infrastructure’ at the Women in Sustainability, Environment, and Renewable Energy (WiSER) Annual Forum.

Among the projects on display include the Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS) project, a flagship initiative of Khalifa University’s Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC). The first commercial aircraft fuelled with jet fuel produced through SBRC’s SEAS, successfully took flight in January 2019.


A presentation on concentrated solar thermal technology will focus on Khalifa University’s Masdar Institute Solar Platform (MISP) that allows for testing of concentrating solar power (CSP) and thermal energy storage (TES) technologies.

The ‘Stability Assessment, Visualization and Enhancement’ (SAVE) tool, a novel AI software for the UAE power system with renewable energy integration, will be demonstrated at the Khalifa University stand. The tool is currently being used by Transco planning engineers to evaluate the overall dynamic performance of its network during future expansion plans.

An innovative biosensor that can detect SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples as well as unfiltered and unprocessed municipal waste-water will be on display, in addition to a new class of 3D-printable fluidic mesh structure for photo-thermal surface heating membrane distillation (SHMD) for solar desalination, and a cost-effective and commercially viable technology for brine reduction.

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