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Buraimi Univ students win honours for innovative research

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In a new scientific achievement for students of University of Buraimi at the regional level, a student research team from the Civil Engineering Programme consisting of four students, namely, Manar al Farsi, Shouq al Wahibi, Aisha al Masoudi and Shouq al Jabri won third place in the 9th Abu Dhabi University Bachelor's Research Competition in the UAE out of 320 projects submitted by 5) universities. The team’s project was entitled "Salt Concrete from Palm Ash", and was supervised by Dr Ahmed Salaheddine Nasif, Associate Professor at the College of Engineering.

In this project, the team partially replaced cement with palm ash in concrete production, with seawater as a complete replacement of fresh water in the mixing process. The team concluded that 5 per cent of cement replacement with palm fronds in conjunction with the complete replacement of pure water with seawater achieves an increase of more than 84 per cent in final compressive strength of concrete after 28 days more than that acquired by ordinary concrete mixed with seawater. Thus, this helps to use seawater to mix concrete without affecting its final compressive strength. This project has provided a promising environmental solution to get rid of palm waste and reduce the cement used, reducing pollution from the cement industry, as well as saving fresh water used in the concrete mixture.

A similar achievement was scored by another student team from the Civil Engineering Programme, which received the best research paper award at the 11th National Symposium on Engineering Final Year Projects at Nizwa University. The team consisted of four students, namely, Aseela al Naqabi, Lamia al Miqbali, Balqees al Shaibani and Buthaina al Badi.

The winning research paper provided an environmental solution for the disposal of medical waste. Medical waste is considered hazardous, toxic and even deadly, because of its high potential to transmit diseases. Incineration is the main treatment of medical waste; however, the disposal of incineration products continues to pollute the environment. Bottom ash and fly ash are the main outputs for the treatment of medical waste by incineration.

Additionally, this research studied the effects of partial replacement of ordinary Portland cement in concrete with treated medical waste. It found that replacing 7.5 per cent of cement with fly ash of medical waste earns concrete more than 87 per cent of the compressive strength after 7 days of treatment in fresh water, and after 28 days, concrete reached more than 110 per cent of its compressive strength.

These two research projects are part of a series of outstanding research done by civil engineering students at University of Buraimi under the supervision of Dr Ahmed Salaheddine Nasif, Associate Professor at the College of Engineering.

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