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Student research won an Arab award: Recovering waste heat of vehicle exhaust gases into power for cooling applications

09 Oct, 2023 | Return|

Omar Al-Salmi: In the future, the project can be applied to different sectors

Sultan Qaboos University's (SQU) College of Engineering students – Omar Al-Salmi, Aahid Al-Hadrami and Elyas Al Subhi – finished third in the Fifth Youth Research Forum 2023 held at the Qatar University Centre for Young Scientists. The forum's theme was "Higher Education Institutions and Their Role in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals." They submitted a research paper titled “Innovative Approach for Recovering Waste Heat of Vehicle Exhaust Gases into Power for Cooling Applications.”

In the interview by Tawasul, Omar Al-Salmi said: “Students from various countries took part in the competition remotely. The scientific committee received 276 papers, out of which 186 papers met the conditions for participation. Eventually, only 36 research papers and posters representing 16 countries were selected.”

He added: "The engagement was a unique opportunity to highlight and develop our graduation project, acquire research skills and learn presentation techniques. We are pleased to have received this award, which will undoubtedly motivate us all to do more in the field of science and innovation.”

Research idea and implementation

Discussing the research idea, Al-Salmi said: “The idea revolves around utilising waste heat by converting it into useful energy. Nowadays, energy is one of the most interesting areas of research which focuses on two main goals: finding alternative sources of renewable energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and increasing system efficiency by converting waste energy into more useful forms.”

Regarding the execution of the project, he indicated that it was a journey fraught with challenges in terms of gathering relevant information, refining analytic and practical skills in lab experiments and using modern technologies in testing and measuring. He added: "We worked hard on data analysis and result testing, striving to benefit the most from the waste heat and successfully converting it into thermal or electrical energy. The project achieved efficiency ranging between 4.52% and 11.56%, a remarkable achievement that reflects the amount of effort we made.”

SQU role

Regarding the support his team received from the university, the student noted: “For project purposes, we were assigned adequate space within a designated area for research purposes at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. SQU also provided us with the necessary equipment and facilitated orders for additional equipment from local and international markets, which made it easier for us to carry out the research in an orderly way.”

Future plans

Al-Salmi shed light on his team’s future plans, saying: "We intend to focus on the economic aspects of the research with reference to the Sultanate of Oman. We will conduct a set of studies on the amount of energy which can be saved and its impact on the environment. We will also investigate the possibility of implementing the project in sectors beyond vehicles, such as oil and gas to utilise the large amounts of waste heat.”

He concluded his remarks by saying: “The team is currently working on a new chapter of the project, simultaneously preparing for upcoming local and global events. We are looking into the potential application of the project in the energy sector.”

The Forum is distinguished by the diversity of the research areas to expand the scope of participation with themes such as the quality of higher education as one of the sustainable development goals and a way to consolidate its concepts. It also addresses legal legislation aimed at consolidating the concepts of sustainable development and achieving its goals, along with the research theme as a conduit to consolidate concepts of sustainable development and achieve its objectives.