Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is stepping up its research collaborations, knowledge exchange and industrial partnerships, with China.

Abu Dhabi has recently signed agreements with Beijing on finance, investment, logistics, energy, education and technology. A research agreement between Masdar Institute and a leading Chinese university was included.

The agreement is expected to boost Masdar Institute’s engagement with China.

The Masdar Institute has a number of Chinese students and postdoctoral researchers “who enrich the institute with their talent, expertise and dedication while leveraging the research infrastructure and support provided at Masdar Institute to develop solutions of relevance to the needs of both China and the UAE,” said the institute.

Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Masdar Institute, Dr Linda Zou – a Chinese national – is spearheading a number of critical research projects of relevance to the UAE and China. She is the principal investigator in a collaboration between Masdar and engineering giant, Veolia, in capacitive deionisation (CapDI). The study is evaluating potential enhancements in this emerging low-energy desalination technology. Zou’s collaboration is focused on getting CapDI to market.

Zou is also leading research to exploit recent advances in nanoparticle technologies in wastewater treatment. She aims to produce freshwater for agricultural use through a hybrid of nano-filtration membranes and reverse osmosis. According to Zou, the combination overcomes a shortcoming in the use of membranes alone which is the removal of beneficial nutrients as well as contaminants.