Areas of expertise

  • Food waste
  • Soil
  • Sustainable Land Systems
  • Waste Management and Resource Efficiency
  • Water Science and Engineering

Background

Dr Ruben Sakrabani obtained his first degree in Chemistry from the National University of Malaysia. He obtained the prestigious British High Commissioners Chevening Award to pursue an MSc in Environmental Pollution Control from University of Leeds. After his MSc, he worked for a year at Earth Tech Engineering Ltd as an Assistant Environmental Specialist. He then started his PhD at University of Abertay Dundee and later transferred to University of Bradford. His PhD work was on contaminated sediments. He has experience in field and laboratory analysis involving contaminated sediments and hands on experience operating AAS, HPLC and ion chromatograph. During his PhD, Dr Sakrabani spent four months at Aalborg University in Denmark developing novel methods to predict biodegradability of organic matter from combined sewer sediments. In addition, he was also involved in an EU collaborative project involving trans-national access to Major Research Infrastructure (MRI) at WL Delft Hydraulics in the Netherlands. Dr Ruben Sakrabani joined Cranfield in September 2002 as Lecturer in Soil Chemistry.

Research opportunities

MSc by Research in Evaluating the role of biochar derived from carbon capture technology in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

Current activities

Dr Sakrabani has more than 15 years of experience in determining nutrient dynamics in soils associated with application of organic amendments such as compost, manure, slurry, sewage sludge, biochar and digestates. His work explores the resource efficiency and reliability of organic amendments as alternative sources of fertilisers to reduce demand on inorganic fertilisers in order to maximise resource efficiency and promote sustainable intensification of agriculture. As a chemist his expertise also lies in the fate and transport of heavy metals and micropollutants in soils. He has an excellent and extensive track record in projects on biosolids application to land in relation to its use as alternative phosphorus fertiliser. He has published in over 70 peer reviewed journals and is currently the Associate Editor of Soil Use and Management. His work related to sanitation is linked to valorisation of faecal sludge into fertilisers in Madagascar, Malawi, Ghana, Kenya and Haiti. He is also member of the NERC Advisory Network and NERC Peer Review College. Selected examples of projects that he is involved in are : 

  • Nutrient dynamics and mechanisation of organo-mineral fertilisers derived from sewage sludge
  • Renewable sources of phosphorus from sewage sludge and faecal derived fertilisers (developing countries)
  • Carbon capture technology into organic waste to be utilised as novel fertilisers 
  • Use of dry spectral technology as novel approach in fertiliser recommendation
  • Mobile phone App technology use in soil nutrient assessment 
  • Tackling soil fertility in cocoa farms in West Africa and Indonesia 
  • Tackling reuse of palm oil waste in Malaysia and Nigeria 
  • Tackling organic sources of fertilisers in tea plantations 
  • Assessing the balance between greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions from pastures receiving slurry
  • Fate and transport of micropollutants (such as personal care products) present in sludge when applied to soil

Clients

  • Agri-Food Charities
  • Defra
  • EPSRC
  • EU
  • NERC
  • MRC
  • Unilever
  • United Utilities
  • WRAP
  • Carbon capture technology providers 
  • Sanitation venture companies in Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Madagascar

Publications

Articles In Journals

Conference Papers

  • Antille DL, Sakrabani R & Godwin R (2014) Soil and crop responses following application of biosolids-derived organomineral fertilisers to ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) grown in pots. In: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2014, Montreal, 13-16 July 2014.
  • Whelan A, Kechavarzi C, Sakrabani R, Coulon F, Simmons RW & Wu G (2010) The influence of compost addition on the water repellency of brownfield soils.. In: European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2010, Vienna, Austria, 2 May 2010.
  • Whelan A, Kechavarzi C, Sakrabani R & Coulon F (2010) The influence of compost addition on the hydraulic properties of brownfield soils. In: ConSoil 2010 : 11th International UFZ- Deltares/TNO Conference on Management of Soil, Groundwater and Sediment, Salzburg, 22 September 2010.
  • Antille D, Sakrabani R & Godwin RJ (2009) Organomineral fertilisers : nutrient dynamics and evaluation of agronomic characteristics. In: 2009 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting, Reno, Nevada, 21 June 2009.
  • Antille DL, Sakrabani R & Godwin RJ (2009) Organomineral fertilisers: Nutrient dynamics and evaluation of agronomic characteristics. In: 2009 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting, Reno, Nevada, 21 June 2009.
  • Antille D, Sakrabani R & Godwin RJ (2008) Organomineral fertilisers: nitrogen dynamics and evaluation of agronomic characteristics.. In: Proc. of ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) Annual International Meeting, Rhode Island, USA, Rhode Island, USA, 29 June 2008.
  • Hathaway-Jenkins L, Dresser M, Godwin RJ, Palmer RC & Sakrabani R (2008) A comparison of the effects of conventional and organic farming practices on soil properties. In: Proc. of ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) Annual International Meeting, Rhode Island, USA, Rhode Island, USA, 29 June 2008.
  • Sakrabani R & Hollis JM (2006) Predicting Changes in Soil Organic Carbon in Different Land Uses for England and Wales Under Current and Future Climatic Conditions Using CENTURY 5. In: Proc. World Congress in Soil Science, Philadelphia, USA. , Philadelphia, USA. , 16 September 2006.
  • Sakrabani R & Hollis JM (2005) Prediction of Changes in Soil Organic Carbon with Climate using CENTURY. In: Proc. Modelling Soil Processes - measurement, uncertainty and modelling, BSSS Conference, Aberdeen., Aberdeen, Scotland, 20 October 2005.
  • Sakrabani R & Hollis JM (2004) Prediction of Changes in Soil Organic Carbon with Climate using CENTURY and ROTHC.. In: Proc. EUROSOIL Conference, Freiburg, Germany., Freiburg, Germany., 4 September 2004.
  • Sakrabani R, Pawlett M, Read R & Deeks LK Optimising phosphorus supply from nutrient enriched sludge granules using diffusive gradient in thin films (DGT). In: 16th European Biosolids and Organic Resources Conference, Leeds, 14 November 2011.

Books

  • Sakrabani R, Deeks LK, Kibblewhite MG & Ritz K (2012) Impacts of Agriculture on Soil Quality. In: Environmental Impacts of Modern Agriculture. Hester RE, Harrison RM (ed.), London: Royal Society of Chemistry, p. 35-56.