CARE-O-SENE research project will develop advanced catalysts for sustainable aviation fuels

International consortium to advance decarbonization of the aviation sector

Press release /

Sasol and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) 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 fuels (SAF). Fraunhofer IKTS will contribute know-how in the development and shaping of Fischer-Tropsch catalysts to the project.

© Sasol
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz und South African President Cyril Ramaphosa with representatives of the project consortium.
© Sasol
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a ceremony in Johannesburg announcing the launch of the CARE-O-SENE project.
© Fraunhofer IKTS
Plant coupling co-electrolysis with Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to produce value-added products.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA. At a ceremony at Sasol’s global headquarters in Johannesburg today, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attended the launch of CARE-O-SENE (Catalyst Research for Sustainable Kerosene) research project, to be funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Sasol.

Sasol (JSE: SOL, NYSE SSL) 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.”

Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech, Scientific Managing Director of HZB adds, “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 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the University of Cape Town, Department of Chemical Engineering (UCT), INERATEC GmbH and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS. The latter will contribute know-how in the development and shaping of Fischer-Tropsch catalysts to the project as well as advanced testing setups necessary for the investigation of Fischer-Tropsch reaction kinetics. Additionally, the scale-up of novel Fischer-Tropsch-based concepts will be modelled and economically evaluated at Fraunhofer IKTS.

CARE-O-SENE will run for three years and pursues 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 over 80 percent, thereby optimising 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.