Masri Institute awards research grants targeting Lebanon’s energy problems


The Munib and Angela Masri Institute of Energy and Natural Resources at the American University of Beirut has awarded grants totaling $100,000 over two years to study energy technologies with an eye towards a sustainable energy future, focusing on the Lebanese context.

The Masri Institute took steps in December 2018, as part of its new expanded goals for a more impactful role aligned with the university strategic plan, to “support the transition of innovative research results into patents and marketable products through dedicated grant support." The Masri Institute re-oriented the strategic allocation of funding and facilitated collaboration across disciplines through changing from open calls for proposals to specific calls for research projects.

With the new directive, the Masri Institute awarded in 2019  two projects totaling $100,000 over two years to support advancing knowledge and technology applications related to impactful management of natural resources with a focus on energy resources for Lebanon and the MENA region. The two research proposals and their respective clusters or projects approved for funding are:

Revolutionizing the Electrical Energy Sector in Lebanon from Private Microgrids to a Dynamic Clean-Energy Market: Lebanese Grid 3.0

  • Principal Investigator (PI): Ali Bazzi, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (MSFEA)
  • Co-PIs: Sami Karaki and Riad Chedid, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (MSFEA)

The project aims at revolutionizing the electrical energy sector in Lebanon, which has suffered for decades, to achieve the Lebanese grid 3.0, and proposes a comprehensive electrical energy solution for Lebanon, will help significantly reduce emissions and pollutants from burning fossil fuels, and will be profitable for all involved entities, especially consumers. The proposed solution integrates distributed clean energy resources (DCERs) and gas turbines into existing microgrids as the first stage, but goes beyond to establish an energy market that eventually allows end users to deal with a national grid operator.

​CO2 Capturing and Sequestration in Lebanon – A Full Cycle Assessment and Optimization towards Minimizing the Country Emissions Footprint

  • PI: Kassem Ghorayeb, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering  (MSFEA)
  • Co-PIs: Houssam El-Rassy, Department of Chemistry (FAS); Joanna Doummar, Department of Geology (FAS);  Sabla Alnouri, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering (MSFEA)

This project aims at building systematic and detailed mapping of the current and expected future CO2 emission sources in Lebanon in view of the potential changing energy scene and recommending scientifically backed and pragmatically feasible options towards minimizing the CO2 emission footprints through sequestration or other utilization of CO2. The target is for this study to help shape the national policies and plans with regard to emissions reduction. Moreover, the project will be performed in collaboration with Prof. Hussein Hoteit, Physical Science and Engineering Division, Ali I. Al‐Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. KAUST is contributing to the project an additional amount of $40,000 divided over two years.

Both proposed projects will advance our understanding of the full impacts of existing and proposed energy technologies for Lebanon's future, and enhance energy efficiency through energy resource recovery methods to contribute towards more sustainable exploitation of these resources

“With these awards, we look forward to Masri Institute's leading role towards a more sustainable, more responsible, and cleaner use of natural resources while integrating multi-disciplinary approaches when possible to achieve the above," said Professor Nesreen Ghaddar, the director of the Masri Institute since its inception.