International consortium to advance decarbonization of aviation sector
Sasol and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin will lead a consortium to develop and optimize next-generation catalysts that will play a key role in decarbonizing the aviation sector through sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
At a ceremony at Sasol’s global headquarters in Johannesburg May 24, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attended the launch of a research project named Catalyst Research for Sustainable Kerosene, dubbed CARE-O-SENE, to be funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Sasol.
Sasol joins forces with five other world-leading organizations 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 technology.
“We are delighted to have been selected to lead this important project,” said Fleetwood Grobler, president and CEO of Sasol Ltd. “Our expertise in FT technology and catalysts makes us the ideal partner to help Germany and the world decarbonize the aviation sector and make it sustainable over the long-term.”
Bernd Rech, scientific managing director of HZB, added, “CARE-O-SENE will enable us to accelerate innovation in a crucial field of green energy. This can only be achieved in a global partnership by deeply integrating fundamental research and technology development on an industry-relevant scale.”
Other CARE-O-SENE project partners include the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the University of Cape Town, Department of Chemical Engineering (UCT) and INERATEC GmbH. The consortium expresses its sincere gratitude to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for supporting these important efforts.
CARE-O-SENE will run for three years and pursues the goal of setting the course for large-scale commercialization 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 over 80 percent, thereby optimizing 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 decarbonization 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.