As part of the Green-QUEST project, University of Cape Town (UCT) students Carla Mathyse and Candace Eslick are investigating ways to harness green hydrogen to provide cleaner cooking fuel for low-income homes, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
The German government has provided total funding for the Green-QUEST initiative.
The German Helmholtz Centre Berlin for Materials and Energy is one of the partners in the partnership known as the Green-QUEST. The Green-QUEST project, valued at €4.6 million ($5.7 million), is entirely funded by the German government, according to Professor Jack Fletcher, the students’ advisor and director of the Catalysis Institute. This project is a component of Germany’s commitments to the Just Energy Transition Partnerships.
According to Mathyse, the objective of the study is to employ green hydrogen and carbon dioxide to produce a new substance known as liquefied fuel gas (LFG). LFG is a “green variant” of LPG (liquified petroleum gas), which is frequently used for cooking and home heating, according to Mathyse.
According to Fletcher, LFG has the potential to eventually replace traditional energy sources that are often used by low-income domestic households, such as coal, wood, and garbage. Healthier fuel for these homes would contribute to a decrease in the environmental and health issues brought on by the burning of coal, wood, and biomass, which causes air pollution.
Mathyse further pointed out that LFG might raise many people’s quality of life by assisting people – particularly women and children – in saving more productive time that they would otherwise lose to gathering fuel sources, including wood. Research on green hydrogen contributes to solving Africa’s energy and climate change issues.
The use of LFG instead of fossil fuels based on LPG could help reduce carbon emissions and move South Africa closer to its objective of having net-zero emissions by 2050.
Mathyse is in charge of synthesising or fabricating a catalyst for the research endeavour at hand in order to create liquefied fuel gas. Mathyse is working to alter the catalyst to increase its lifespan, which will make LFG manufacturing economically viable. This catalyst is required to convert the feedstocks of green H2 and carbon dioxide to LFG. ebook on hydrogen news
About Eslick, she employs a small-scale reactor in the lab and devotes the majority of her attention to developing the method for producing green LFG. In her research, the fuel is also produced using CO2 that has been trapped.
The green hydrogen research project will also act as a template for later initiatives that deal with climate change and alternative fuels. If the Green-QUEST initiative is successful, it might result in the production of jobs and the construction of an industrialisation plan, both of which are objectives of South Africa’s energy transition.