Professor Sai Gu and Dr Beatrice Mensah
Leverhulme-Royal Society Africa Award holders
Professor Sai Gu (Cranfield University) and Dr Mensah (Institute of Industrial Research, Ghana) were awarded a Leverhulme-Royal Society Africa Award for a project designed to stimulate the development of second generation biofuels in Africa using lignocelluloses based biomass. Ghana has abundant supplies of biomass in the form of rice husks, cocoa pods and the by-products of the sugar cane industry amongst others, all of which can be used to make bio-oils which can be directly used for power generation. This is a strategically important industry given the rising global demand for biofuels.
Professor Gu explained some of the wider benefits of the collaboration:
"Our project was among the awards approved in the 1st round. When I gave my first public seminar in Ghana three years ago, there were lots of questions about what we could achieve with a limited budget for this kind of award. Our Ghanaian researchers have given the best answer by producing first class journal papers through this collaboration. Their achievements are not only recognized by their academic peers but also by policy makers including senior ministers in Ghana.
I am also pleased to see that a number of Ghanaian researchers who were involved in our seminars and workshops have successfully obtained their own Leverhulme-Royal Society Africa Awards later on."