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Masdar’s Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium


The objective of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium is to lay the foundation for arid land and saltwater-based sustainable aviation fuels.

Research & Development

Value-chain step

Type of pathway

Starting time and duration
2011 -

Research institutions, airlines, manufacturers

Regional scope

Involved countries
United Arab Emirates


The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium is leading a five year research and demonstration project designed to study the commercial viability of halophyte-derived jet fuel and bioenergy.


The Integrated Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (ISEAS) includes three basic components, namely, aquaculture and halophyte agriculture and silviculture. Agronomic research on halophyte plants such as Salicornia bigelovii, and other local species, has produced very promising results in the potential to scale the production of these types of feedstocks. The use of non-arable desert land and sea-water irrigation really sets this system apart from traditional biomass production.


The project uses aquaculture effluent from fish and shrimp farms to provide the majority of the nutrient content to the salicornia fields, with the leftover effluent being treated by a mangrove wetland.


In addition to jet fuel, the project contemplates the production of biomass-based electricity and other biofuels, as well as food from the aquaculture operation.


The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology established the SBRC in 2011, together with founding partners Etihad Airways, The Boeing Company, and UOP-Honeywell. Safran Group has also joined the SBRC, and all members are investing in ground-breaking research to expand the boundaries of sustainability, technology and bioenergy.



Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Etihad Airways, Honeywell (UOP), The Boeing Company, Safran​

Achievements to date

A pilot scale facility is being built on a 2 hectare plot of land in Masdar City to evaluate the viability of the ISEAS, with the aim to scale to a 200 hectare demonstration farm in the next 3-5 years to be located in the Western Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Contact information
 ​Dr. Alejandro Rios G.,  Director
​Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium
Professor of Practice
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology
PO Box 54224, Abu Dhabi, 
United Arab Emirates