24-year-old Calgarian honoured for innovation that turns canola oil into biofuel – Calgary

Creating innovations in renewable energy has earned national recognition for a 24-year-old Calgarian.

University of Alberta graduate Nabaa Alam was named an Everyday Political Citizen by civic engagement non-profit Samara Canada on Thursday.

When Alam was in his last year of chemical engineering studies in university, he was the lead process designer on a project that developed a way to convert canola oil into renewable gasoline, diesel and bio-jet fuel.

His project received $10 million in funding from the Alberta government, an investment that is predicted to pay off by reducing carbon emissions by 112,000 tonnes by 2020 — the equivalent of taking 23,000 cars off the road for a year.

Alam told The Homestretch on Friday he hopes he can inspire people to tackle problems in new and innovative ways.

“It’s everybody’s responsibility, I don’t think you have to be an elected official,” he said.

“It’s everybody’s right and responsibility to make an impact on the world.”

Alam said his inspiration and drive to accomplish so much at a young age come from his parents, who grew up in Bangladesh before immigrating to Canada.

He was shortlisted for the prize by Senator Douglas Black, one of the jurors, along with Margaret Atwood, Rick Mercer, Desmond Cole and Preston Manning.

Black wrote that Alam’s work on renewable energy, “shows how young Albertans are leading the way for Canada.”

Rick Mercer announces the winners of the award:

The licensing rights for the biofuel plant have been bought by Shell, and Alam said the oil giant is looking to see if it can be scaled for commercial use across the globe.

The biofuel plant is currently designed to convert 10 million litres of canola oil each year, but Shell is hoping to do 240 million litres a year.

Alam currently works with Imperial Oil where he helps plants improve energy usage efficiency.

His goal is to be a leader in the energy industry, and to find a balance between renewable energy and fossil fuels.

“I’m trying to improve the oil and gas industry and work with oil and gas companies to make sustainable ways of making energy affordable for everybody,” he said. 

​With files from The Homestretch

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Originally posted 2017-12-09 04:36:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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