U of A grad turns yellow canola into biofuel gold

U of A grad turns yellow canola into biofuel gold
Dec 11, 2017

24-year-old Nabaa Alam recognized as an Everyday Political Citizen

By Kate Ayers

Staff Reporter



Nabaa Alam, a young Calgarian, recently received recognition for his contributions to the design process for turning canola oil into a renewable biofuel.

Alam, a 24-year-old graduate from the University of Alberta, was named an Everyday Political Citizen by Samara Canada last week, according to a CBC article on Friday.

During the final year of his chemical engineering degree, Alam was a process design team member that worked on a project funded by SBI BioEnergy.

Inder Pal Singh, CEO of SBI BioEnergy, is the inventor of the method to convert canola oil into renewable fuel, CBC said.

In March 2016, the Alberta government announced it would provide $10 million towards a $20-million refinery being built by SBI BioEnergy at the Edmonton Research Park. The project was projected to pay off by removing 112,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by 2020, according to the government. This emissions reduction would equate to taking 23,000 cars off the road for a full year, according to the CBC article.  

Alam hopes the project will inspire other people to tackle environmental issues.

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

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

Shell bought the licensing rights for the biofuel plant in June. The company hopes to upscale production to 240 million litres per year, up from its current capacity of converting 10 million litres of canola oil per year, according to the article.  

Alam works with Imperial Oil and his goal is to strike a balance between the use of renewable and fossil fuels, according to CBC.

“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,” Alam said to CBC.

Updated December 13, 2017 to clarify Alam’s role in the invention of the renewable fuel creation process.


Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/canola-summer-field-landscapes-bed-1387917/


Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/canola-summer-field-landscapes-bed-1387917/