King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

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King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Organisation Introduction

KAUST is a private research university located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Founded in 2009, the university provides research and graduate training programs in English as the official language of instruction. KAUST aspires to be a destination for scientific and technological education and research. By inspiring discoveries to address global challenges, we strive to serve as a beacon of knowledge that bridges people and cultures for the betterment of humanity. KAUST exists for the pursuit and advancement of scientific knowledge and its broad dissemination and benevolent application. We strive to enhance the welfare of society with a special focus on four areas of global significance – food, water, energy and the environment. KAUST is a curiosity-driven, interdisciplinary problem-solving environment, with state-of-the-art labs, distinguished faculty and talented students. KAUST brings together the best minds from around the world to advance research. More than 120 different nationalities live, work and study on campus.


KAUST decided to participate in the E-TANDEM project because its goals align well with the mission of the university. Within KAUST, the mission of the Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center is to alleviate the energy penalty and prohibitive cost associated with the separation, purification and conversion of petroleum and other industrial commodities amounting to nearly 40% produced energy across the world. To do so, we train students and early-career researchers to design and deploy disruptive membrane- and/or sorbent-based technologies that mitigate this energy penalty, to exploit petroleum resources for other high-value uses, and to produce greener and cleaner chemical and fuel stocks and chemical processes. Since its inception in 2009, research into circular carbon economy technology solutions has been an integral part of KAUST’s portfolio, including CO2 capture, nature-based solutions, renewable energy and CO2 utilization. With the recent launch of the KAUST Circular Carbon Initiative, we aim to connect more deeply the different strands of our CCE research, to create a strong and well-informed network of researchers at different career stages, to identify and seek to engage missing expertise. Besides addressing timely global challenges, the project will allow us to broaden our professional network, and open new training opportunities for our students.

Involvement in E-TANDEM

KAUST will contribute to the continuous e-fuel production process with energy-efficient membrane separations. The project ambitions to realize a continuous process to recover a lipophilic molecular hydroformylation catalyst from a biphasic (organic/water) product stream with high efficiency and low energy demand. An experimental demonstration in a continuous membrane module at lab scale is targeted. The biphasic product mixture will be spilt into organic and water phases before entering the membrane module. Short chain alcohols are expected to remain in the aqueous phase. The effect of mono- vs biphasic inlet stream, pressure, concentration, temperature and membrane choice will be assessed, and the performance outputs will be used for process modelling and optimization.

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“The scope of the E-TANDEM project aligns well with the mission of both the Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center, and the Circular Carbon Initiative at KAUST.”

Project progress

© 2023 E-TANDEM

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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