South African integrated energy and chemicals company, Sasol, and the National Research Foundation will be investing in four South African energy research chairs and six fellowships programs.
The aim is to improve the country’s green hydrogen capabilities through technology, infrastructure and energy resource research and development (R&D).
The funding, to the tune of $2.2 million, will be implemented over the next five years.
The funding will support four national research chairs – representing part of a competitive call launched by Sasol and the National Research Foundation in 2022 – which cover energy and power systems modelling, awarded to Professor Ramesh Bansal from the University of Pretoria and Professor Sunetra Chowdhury from the University of Cape Town; green hydrogen, awarded to Professor Tien-Chien Jen from the University of Johannesburg and Professor Prathieka Naidoo from Stellenbosch University.
Additionally, the funding will support six post-doctoral innovation fellowships programs, covering research in areas including green hydrogen, energy storage and waste utilization towards a circular economy. The projects will be conducted at Sasol’s research facilities in Sasolburg and have been awarded to the University of Johannesburg, University of Pretoria, University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand, Durban University of Technology and North-West University.
The projects form part of efforts by Sasol and the National Research Foundation to enhance industry knowledge sharing and to maximize skills developments to address the country’s critical energy challenges.
Sasol and the National Research Foundation have previously supported 400 students and researchers and directed more than R150 million in funding towards supporting clean energy-linked research and innovation projects which will be deployed over the next five years.