Dr. Youssef Belmabkhout of AMPM Center honored with 2018 African Youth Award

Jul 08 2018

AMPM Center Snr. Research Scientist, Dr. Youssef Belmabkhout has been honored with 2018 African Youth Award. This prestigious award recognizes his successful research in water, energy and environmental sciences.

"This prize is an acknowledgment of ten years research in materials science and applications related to energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. This includes my previous work on carbon dioxide (CO2) capture at Ottawa University and my current work in AMPM Center pertaining to the discovery of unique MOFs for highly energy-intensive separations", Youssef notes. 

"I am very proud of this achievement and international recognition for excellence of my work primarily at KAUST and also Ottawa University" he continues.

Dr. Mahmoud Sakr, President of the Academy of Scientific Research and technology of the Arab Republic of Egypt (ASRT), recently announced the 2018 African Young Researchers' Awards, three prizes in the fields of agriculture and food science, health and pharmaceutical sciences, water, energy and environmental sciences.

ASRT is the Egyptian house of expertise. It brings together outstanding Egyptian scientists and experts from universities, research institutions, private sector, NGOs, policymakers and prominent Egyptian scientists in Diaspora to deliberate country problems, propose and carry out scientific studies and future strategic basic plans to tackle these problems.

A Revolutionary Separation Concepts

Dr. Youssef Belmabkhout is a team leader in AMPM Center research group headed by AMPM Center Director, Prof. Mohamed Eddaoudi, called Functional Materials Design, Discovery and Development (FMD3). During his research career, Youssef has built strong collaborative relationships with academia and industry covering large multidisciplinary fields of thermodynamics, physical chemistry, material science, chemistry and chemical engineering.

"My primary goal has always been searching for advanced separation techniques requiring substantially less energy than conventional processes. I contributed to discovering a revolutionary separation concept that involves thermodynamics and kinetics (Nature 495 (7439), 80, 2013). This concept was successfully applied to CO2 capture from ppm level to bulk COconcentration and believe, capable of being applied to other gas separations" he explains.

During his journey at KAUST, he has brought his applied science touch and vision to applications of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) and helped unveil structural–adsorption property relationships that are unique for this class of solid-state materials. He contributed heavily in unveiling the first MOF molecular sieves for highly intensive separations such as paraffin-isoparaffin, olefin-paraffin separations, gas/vapor Dehydration and many other adsorption based applications for MOFs.   

"The conventional view that MOFs cannot be stable in water has been overturned by our development of a MOF platform that can selectively and effectively adsorb water to dry natural gas streams (Science 356 (6339), 731-735, 2017). Thus, significant energy-saving, technical and environmental benefits will be gained from application of this technology and certainly will revolutionize the gas separation industry " he explains. 

AMPM Center director Mohamed Eddaoudi, on behalf on the entire center members, warmly congratulates Dr. Youssef Belmabkhout on this outstanding accomplishment and well deserved international recognition!