Professor Ali Al Marzouqi, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies at the UAE University, has won the National Center for Palms and Dates International Prize 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the Best Scientific Researcher category, for a project to convert date palm waste into high-value chemicals.

Al Marzouqi received the award for his project titled: Converting palm waste into high-value products: a sustainable way of using resources.

Professor Ali Al Marzouqi said: "This study focuses on developing multiple products, such as biodegradable tableware from palm waste as an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use plastics. Additionally, the project aims to convert date palm waste into high-value chemicals, through catalytic conversion of lignocellulose biomass from date palm. The project also explores the conversion of date waste into lactic acid, an essential material for the production of polylactic acid (PLA), a biodegradable plastic.

"This study aims to reduce waste and promote sustainable production of valuable resources by converting palm waste into high-value chemicals and biodegradable products. This project not only addresses environmental concerns, but also achieves the long-term goal of developing a more sustainable and resilient global economy.

"Through this research, we employed advanced technology to address the main challenges in waste management, provide sustainable solutions for palm waste, overcome traditional waste management-associated environmental problems, and promote the principles of the circular economy."