Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, to implement innovative seawater bioenergy pilot project

A new research project in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi -- serving as the world's first bioenergy pilot-scale facility to use seawater-irrigated desert land to produce both bioenergy and food in the water -- will soon be receiving technical support from CH2M HILL.

Feb. 4, 2015 -- A new research project in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi -- serving as the world's first bioenergy pilot-scale facility to use seawater-irrigated desert land to produce both bioenergy and food in the water -- will soon be receiving technical support from CH2M HILL, a global full-service consulting, design, construction, program management, and operations firm.

The Integrated Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (ISEAS) involves a complete seawater agricultural system that will serve as a research and development facility for Masdar Institute (MI) of Science and Technology and the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC). It was established to advance sustainable business practices by developing technology with the promise of producing a clean, alternative fuel supply. SBRC members include Etihad Airways, Boeing, Honeywell UOP, Safran, and GE.

CH2M HILL was commissioned last year to provide technical support and to design a sophisticated pilot-scale facility of the ISEAS on designated land in Masdar City. Throughout the design phase, the company worked closely with MI and SBRC to refine the technical aspects of the new facility, with the intention of an innovative sustainable system that will serve to conduct research for groundbreaking technologies.

A significant aspect of the new pilot-scale facility is the use of seawater to produce water stock to grow seafood, mainly fish and shrimp (aquaculture), for human consumption and Salicornia plants for fuel and byproduct production. The plants thrive in arid, desert conditions and do not require fresh water or arable land to grow. The effluent is diverted into cultivated mangroves that are used for water treatment and biomass production, removing nutrients and providing valuable carbon storage.

During a recent press conference, MI and SBRC announced the contract award to construct the pilot facility. The project is expected to be operational by late summer, 2015.

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About CH2M HILL


Headquartered near the city of Denver, Colo., employee-owned CH2M HILL is a specialist in consulting, design, design-build, operations, and program management for government, civil, industrial and energy clients. The firm's work is concentrated in the areas of water, transportation, environment, energy, and facilities. For more information, visit www.ch2mhill.com.

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