Scientists at BGU have received a significant grant from the Wolfson Foundation, England, to advance two research projects related to natural gas and oil. “This support reflects BGU’s leadership role in alternative energy research in Israel thanks to its multi-disciplinary approach,” explained Vice-President for Research and Development Prof. Moti Herskowitz, who is also one of the researchers involved.
The first project -- submitted by researchers from BGU’s Blechner Center for Industrial Catalysis and Process Development -- deals with the downstream treatment of natural gas. Specifically, they hope to use a novel method for conversion of natural gas to syngas through catalytic partial oxidation. Profs. Moti Herskowitz and Miron Landau, both from the Department of Chemical Engineering, believe that this process provides significant opportunities for commercial production.
The other project, submitted by members of the Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences, will be tracking the formation of oil and gas in a variety of environments, source rocks and generation mechanisms, through the investigation of sulfur and short hydrocarbon transformations using molecular and isotopic geochemical approach. The team includes Dr. Alexey Kamyshny, Dr. Orit Sivan and Prof. Shimon Feinstein who hope to improve understanding of oil and gas generation and their environmental impacts.
According to Prof. Herskowitz, these two projects are part of the University’s overall commitment to advance research in alternative energy sources and cleaner technologies. “The BGU Energy Initiative is about advancing innovative research projects that advance Israel’s worldwide role in replacing crude oil.”
The Wolfson Foundation is a charity that awards grants to support and promote excellence in the fields of science and medicine, health, education, and the arts and humanities.