Focusing on Innovation and Renewable Fuels

Prof. Moti Herskovitz's visit to New Zealand

  •   Focusing on Innovation and Renewable Fuels
    Last week the Embassy of Israel in association with Callaghan Innovation facilitated a lecture by Professor Moti Herskowitz, Vice President and Dean for R&D at Ben Gurion University  - focusing on innovation and renewable fuels.​

    Professor Moti Herskowitz, professor of chemical engineering and researcher in the fields of advanced materials, catalysis and multiphase reactors, has been Vice President and Dean for Research and Development since 2003. He has published over 120 papers and 22 patents on basic and applied research in novel renewable and clean fuels as well as processes for their production.

    Apart from his address in Wellington to a group of specialized scientists the professor has been in New Zealand talking to institutions about potentially working together on renewable energy products.

    Israel wanted to be at the forefront of renewable energy after Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in 2010 that hundreds of millions of dollars would be invested in research and development of alternative energy. The professor said he had discussed collaboration with various bodies in the renewable-energy sector, and was confident partnerships would emerge.

    ‘‘New Zealand, I think, is making an effort here, a local effort, and I think we have a major effort in Israel and we’re looking for partners. As part of my visit here, I was pleasantly surprised at the level of technology they’re trying to develop here.’’ He said alternative energy sources existed but it was at the next step of investment, which would commercialise the product, where many projects fell over.

    ‘‘That’s always a barrier, to move from the lab or small units. New Zealand is a relatively small country, and has limited resources to invest in such.’’

    The Stump for Pump programme, which will study the feasibility of converting forestry waste into liquid biofuels, recently received Ministry for Primary Industries funding of $6.75 million.




    mme partners Norske Skog and Z Energy matched the funding, bring the total project worth to $13.5m. New Zealan​d would struggle to globalise such efforts, however, given budget limitations and local needs, Herskovitz said. "Use biomass forestry waste, it's wonderful. You have this waste and you're going to take care of it; it's a win-win situation."