Hydrogen and battery research facility launched

November 27th, 2014, Published in Articles: Energize, Featured: Energize

 

South Africa is constantly improving mineral processing technologies to enable more cost-effective and wider exploitation of mineral resources. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) officially launched a suite of laboratories at the CSIR in Pretoria on 27 November 2014, dedicated to hydrogen and energy storage research.

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Imraan Patel

Speaking at the launch, Imraan Patel, the deputy director general for socio-economic innovation partnerships at DST, said facilities such as these were part of government’s response to the global challenge of energy security. Patel said that amid the global movement towards developing sustainable energy systems and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier combined with fuel cell technology, has attracted considerable interest from government, international bodies and commercial companies worldwide.

The facility, housed at the CSIR, will be jointly used by Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) with the Batteries Research group under Energy Storage to conduct research to develop novel materials that can meet challenging hydrogen plus energy storage requirements. Fuel cells which use precious group metal catalysts such as platinum, or others, use hydrogen with little or no polluting emissions as they convert chemical energy to electrical energy. Hydrogen is touted as the future clean and efficient fuel but the challenge is developing infrastructure to produce, store and make hydrogen available for these applications in addition to getting cheaper replacement catalysts.

Contact Tendani Tsedu, CSIR, Tel 012 841-3417, mtsedu@csir.co.za

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