Dr. Saeed Alhassan is an associate professor in the department of chemical engineering at Khalifa University. He holds BE, MSc and PhD in chemical engineering from Vanderbilt University, Colorado School of Mines and Case Western Reserve University, respectively. Since starting his academic career at Khalifa University (Petroleum Institute) in 2011, Dr. Saeed worked on developing new applications for elemental sulfur as United Arab Emirates (UAE) was gearing up to become the largest exporter of the yellow element in the world. Elemental sulfur has historically limited applications except for sulfuric acid; which is one of the most industrially used chemicals in the world. Besides that, elemental sulfur has applications in rubber and specialty chemicals. UAE’s economic growth requires energy mix of natural gas and renewables. The supply of natural gas comes predominantly from sour gas field in Abu Dhabi where hydrogen sulfide has to be converted to elemental sulfur. Thus, elemental sulfur is inevitable eventuality for energy production needs and UAE’s production of this element is set to increase in the future. Such increase will impact the market supply; which will cause drops in prices.
The approach to the above problem is to develop new applications based on elemental sulfur from both fundamental point of view and practical point of view. As for the former, the need to understand sulfur chemistry is paramount in coming with new insights into sulfur chemistry and physics that can be used as basis for applications that have not been considered before. As for the practical approach, several novel materials and composites were developed for various applications. In one of Dr. Saeed’s earlier work, elemental sulfur was directly used in fabrication of thermoplastic composites. These composites have potential applications in construction, agricultural and energy industries. Metal sulfides, both in nanoparticles form as well as in porous foams; were also fabricated and synthesized for catalytic applications. Zinc sulfides nanoparticles were used as active materials in photocatalytic production of hydrogen and environmental remedies. Molybdenum sulfide foam were used in hydrodesulphurization process with significantly better performance compared to other materials reported in the literature.
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Dr. Saeed is also working on producing water from humidity using thermo-responsive materials. The approach is driven mainly by weather temperature swing between day and night. The device in development in Dr. Saeed’s laboratory is autonomous and requires virtually no maintenance as the approach is passive and depend on materials design to adsorb water vapor from atmosphere and rejecting the water in the form of liquid when temperature changes.
Dr. Saeed is first recipient of the inaugural Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid medal of scientific excellence (2017) and two times recipient of Sheikh Rashid Award for Scientific Achievement (2008, 2012). Dr. Saeed has 84 journal articles, 2 book chapters, 5 patents, 6 patent applications, 18 invited lectures and more than 82 conference papers. Dr Saeed advise(d) 18 mater and PhD students and participate(d) in 19 projects as principal investigator and co-investigator.
- Chemical Engineering