N. glauca Field Trial: Site Visit in United Arab Emirates

On March 4th, 2015 the expanded UAE N. glauca field trial was harvested.

The harvest was attended by Amanda Kozlo of RHUL and Yaw Koram of NSC, both partners in the MultiBioPro project.  In total, 47 kg of wet leaf biomass was assembled.  It will be delivered to partner PPM  in Magdeburg/Germany for extraction after drying.

Amanda took a range of in-situ measurements of the wild type N. glauca specimens under cultivation in the trial.  She also collected a number of leaf and stem samples which were packed in dry ice and couriered to RHUL’s laboratory facilities in the UK for analysis.  Metabolic profiling of high value compounds, fatty acids, terpenoids and hydrocarbons will be performed to establish and compare any differences between the greenhouse and UAE grown N. glauca plants which will be used for biofuel production primarily. In addition, samples of dry leaf material were also collected and will be analysed accordingly.

The trip of the two scientists also included a visit to the Neutral Fuels biodiesel production facility.  There, the team was given a guided tour by the Managing Director, Ali Fadlallah, who outlined some of the key technical and commercial considerations relevant to biodiesel production. 

Overall, the journey delivered useful insights into the cultivation and harvesting of N. glauca under field conditions as well as into the production and commercialisation of biofuel.  These insights will be of use across a number of work packages within MultiBioPro.