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Climate solution in sights for biofuel research rising star

Published:21 November 2019

Dr. Md. Mofijur Rahman with his PhD supervisor Prof Mohammad Rasul

A CQUniversity PhD graduate has been recognised for his early-career research breaking new ground in biofuel development to help combat the climate crisis.

Dr. Md. Mofijur Rahman completed his PhD in renewable energy with CQUniversity in 2017, and was recently listed on The Australian’s Early Achievers Leaderboard for research rising stars.

Now a postdoctoral research fellow with the School of Information, Systems and Modelling at UTS, Dr Rahman was among just 40 researchers across the country to be recognised.

The alternative fuel combustion expert said the honour acknowledged several discoveries made during his time at CQUni, including alternatives to first-generation biofuel production that displaced food crops.

“During my research, I identified potential second-generation, or 2G, biofuels from non-edible oil sources, and found that locally-available feedstock can reduce biodiesel production cost significantly,” he explained.

“Then with another biofuel researcher at CQUniversity, I found that stone fruit seed oil can be a potential feedstock for biodiesel.”

“I also identified waste cooking oil as a cheaper feedstock for biofuel, and production methods to ensure it can be used as an alternative to diesel fuel in a diesel engine without any engine modification.”

Dr Rahman says he chose CQUniversity for his PhD studies because of outstanding research facilities for biofuel combustion, and for the opportunity to study alongside Professor Mohammad Rasul.

Under co-supervisors Prof Rasul and Dr Nur Hassan, Dr Rahman said his research focused on advancing the production and use of biofuel, for reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality, and creating a healthier planet.

“The biggest challenge for the commercialisation of advanced biofuel is the production cost,” he explained.

“My target is to lower the production cost and develop cheaper biofuel from Australian biodiversity and waste, through the novel production technologies.”

As well as his research achievements, and publishing numerous peer-reviewed papers, Dr Rahman’s proudest memory of CQUniversity was his graduation day.

“I attended my graduation ceremony with my wife, my three-month-old daughter, my brother, my parents-in-law and my nephew – it was a great celebration!” he said.

The Australian’s Early Achievers Leaderboard celebrates Australia’s top 40 researchers who are less than 10 years into their careers, selecting the best five performers from eight main disciplines.

For more information about research opportunities with CQUniversity, visit https://www.cqu.edu.au/research.