Sasol, HZB to lead catalyst research to produce green kerosene
South Africa’s Sasol and Germany’s Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will lead a consortium to develop and optimise next-generation catalysts that will play a key role in decarbonising the aviation sector through sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
Sasol joins forces with five other world-leading organisations in Germany and South Africa to accelerate the development of catalysts that are essential to produce green kerosene on a commercial scale through Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology.
“We are delighted to have been selected to lead this important project,” said Fleetwood Grobler, president and chief executive officer of Sasol Limited. “Our expertise in FT technology and catalysts makes us the ideal partner to help Germany and the world decarbonise the aviation sector and make it sustainable over the long-term.”
The Catalyst Research for Sustainable Kerosene (CARE-O-SENE) research project will be funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Sasol.
Other project partners include the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the University of Cape Town, Department of Chemical Engineering (UCT) and INERATEC GmbH.
CARE-O-SENE will run for three years and pursue the goal of setting the course for large-scale commercialisation of green kerosene production by 2025 with its research on catalysts. Catalysts are used to speed up chemical reactions, increase the yield and improve the quality of refined products. The new FT catalysts are expected to increase the fuel yield of the process to more than 80%, thereby optimising the use of resources.
Unlike conventional kerosene derived from fossil feedstocks, SAF can be made from green hydrogen and sustainable carbon dioxide sources. Developing SAF is key to a sustainable decarbonisation of the hard-to-abate aviation industry, and the main lever for net zero aviation. The underlying technology to developing SAF at scale from green hydrogen and sustainable carbon sources is FT technology, in which Sasol has been a global leader for more than 70 years.