Partner News: CARE-O-SENE at special conference for East German Minister Presidents

From left to right: Bernd Rech (Scientific Director, HZB), Michael Kretschmer (Minister-President of Saxony), Manuela Schwesig (Minister-President of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), Dietmar Woidke (Minister-President of Brandenburg), Reiner Haseloff (Minister-President of Saxony-Anhalt), Bettina Stark-Watzinger (Federal Minister of Education and Research), Florian Graf (Head of the Berlin Senate Chancellery) and Malte Krückels (Representative of the Free State of Thuringia to the Federal Government). Picture: HZB / M. Setzpfandt

Partner News: CARE-O-SENE at special conference for East German Minister Presidents

On 19 October, CARE-O-SENE project partner Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) hosted a special conference for East German
prime ministers. Guests included Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Minister of State and Federal Government Commissioner for eastern Germany Carsten Schneider, Saxony's Minister President Michael Kretschmer, and the other heads of government of the eastern German states. The conference focused on topics such as funding of research and technology, development of cutting-edge technologies in eastern Germany and vocational education and training. Not only did the guests gain insight into the innovative research at HZB. Our consortium partner also had the opportunity to present the German-South African research project CARE-O-SENE in detail. The attendees learnt more about the goals and
latest milestones of the project,which aims to enable the production of green kerosene on a large scale.

CARE-O-SENE’s Mentoring Program takes flight

CARE-O-SENE’s Mentoring Program takes flight

A multinational team of mentors and young talents sets out to embark on a journey of professional and personal growth.

The CARE-O-SENE team, by its very essence, is a multinational team of experts, working together on the development of new and more efficient catalysts for sustainable aviation fuels. In a strategic partnership between Germany and South Africa, CARE-O-SENE unites enterprises, research institutes as well as academic actors from both countries. The new mentoring program has the goal to strengthen this interaction.

As such a collaborative endeavor, the mentorship program is a natural extension of this partnership, and the accomplished teams eagerly embrace the mentoring of diverse young talents and look forward to getting to know their fresh perspectives. In 12 one-on-one mentoring pairs and with a mentoring circle headed by an accomplished research & technology manager at Sasol Limited, an exchange of knowledge, expertise and diverse perspectives is fostered. This cross-generational initiative is a vital approach in motivating and empowering aspiring individuals in the chemical industry and research sector.

Fueling ambitions

First introduced in July 2023, industrial and academic experts such as engineers, laboratory assistants, senior scientists and Ph.D. students were encouraged to participate in the mentoring program. It aims to offer mentees compelling learning opportunities and support from experienced individuals from Sasol Limited, Sasol Germany GmbH, KIT, HZB, UCT and IKTS.

Mentors and mentees were matched according to their shared interests. They were able to choose between one-or-one mentoring, a mentoring circle and a combination of both. Due to this matching process, every participant was able to find the option that enhances their potential and aligns with their interaction preferences.

An alliance for the future

As a powerful leadership development tool, mentorship programs provide a mutually beneficial frame to exchange knowledge while also fostering trusted interpersonal relationships between mentors and mentees. Young talents thus receive guidance and support on their further career path.

CARE-O-SENE’s Mentoring Program first started with a virtual kick-off between mentors and mentees in the second half of 2023, where they set a mentorship agreement including expectations, scope and meeting cadence to ensure a successful collaboration. The mentoring relationships are expected to run for the beginning for one year. A face-to-face meet up is scheduled in spring 2024 in South Africa. An overview of the CARE-O-SENE project team members can be found here: https://care-o-sene.com/de_de/portfolio-uebersicht/

Research for Sustainability (FONA) reports on CARE-O-SENE

Research for Sustainability (FONA) reports on CARE-O-SENE

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) reports on the latest milestone of the CARE-O-SENE project on its Research for Sustainability (FONA) website.

The team of the German-South African research project has succeeded in producing a new catalyst on a semi-commercial scale at Sasol's facilities in South Africa and successfully subjected it to a 67-day “stress test”. Catalysts play a key role in the large-scale production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

You can find the full FONA article here and in the November issue of the newsletter (only available in German).

Another success for CARE-O-SENE: New catalyst passes “stress test”

Another success for CARE-O-SENE: New catalyst passes “stress test”

As recently reported 1.8 tonnes of the new catalyst have been produced on a semi-commercial scale.

The so called “Catalyst One” has now successfully passed a 67-day “stress test”. The catalyst was tested with conventional feedstocks in the world’s largest Fischer-Tropsch demonstration reactor (FTDR) in South Africa with a capacity of over 100 barrels per day. During the test, the new catalyst proved its performance under realistic conditions. The results show that “Catalyst One” works as expected under commercially representative conditions. It delivers Fischer-Tropsch crude - wax and condensates - of a quality that predicts a production yield of over 80 percent jet fuel. To provide reliable proof of this, the resulting crude products have now been sent to another partner of the CARE-O-SENE project: Topsoe from Denmark, a world leader in catalysis and process technology and Sasol's long-term partner in processing of Fischer-Tropsch products. There, the crude products are further refined up to the final product kerosene.

Further to this, the catalyst samples taken during the test are providing important additional data that will significantly advance the CARE-O-SENE consortium’s research into the behaviour of catalysts under representative industrial conditions.

CARE-O-SENE project member Moritz Wolf is awarded with the Carl-Zerbe-Preis

CARE-O-SENE project member Moritz Wolf is awarded with the Carl-Zerbe-Preis

Congratulations to CARE-O-SENE project member Moritz Wolf who received the Carl-Zerbe-Preis at the conference “C1 Building Blocks for Future Chemistry” that was jointly organized by the DGMK e.V. (German Scientific Society for Sustainable Energy Sources, Mobility and Carbon Cycles e. V.) Division "Petrochemistry", the Division of Industrial Chemistry of the Società Chimica Italiana (SCI, Italian Chemical Societyand the ÖGEW Österreichische Gesellschaft für Energiewissenschaften that was held in Dresden, Germany from 11-13 October 2023. This event series links experts from industry and academia and focuses on topical scientific and technological issues around catalysis as an enabling technology for the energy transition and a sustainable chemical industry.

Learn more about CARE-O-SENE: https://lnkd.in/eFuTyhMY
Learn more about the conference https://lnkd.in/e62fNM9F

Moritz Wolf at the award presentation of the Carl-Zerbe prize (Photo: Peter Leuten/DVV Media).

Milestone for CARE-O-SENE: First catalyst produced on semi-commercial scale

Milestone for CARE-O-SENE: First catalyst produced on semi-commercial scale

It is an important milestone for the CARE-O-SENE programme: the team of the German-South African research programme has succeeded in producing the new catalyst on a semi-commercial scale in the facilities of Sasol in South Africa. So far, these had only been produced and tested on a small scale in the laboratory and in pilot plants.

The catalyst is now being tested in the world's largest demonstration plant at Sasol in South Africa. This first endurance test presents it with completely new challenges and provides insights into the performance of the so-called "Catalyst One". And the research team is optimistic: the catalyst is very robust and has perfect prerequisites for the Fischer-Tropsch process. This includes, for example, high mechanical stability, the ability to achieve a high conversion rate or the possibility to produce the planned products with the desired quality.

Thus, the results of the upcoming test are not only a major milestone for the CARE-O-SENE team, but also an important step towards achieving the project goals: producing sustainable aviation fuels with high yields on an industrial scale – and transform industries such as aviation in a sustainable way.

New catalysts for higher kerosene yields: Webinar highlights advances in sustainable aviation

New catalysts for higher kerosene yields: Webinar highlights advances in sustainable aviation

Freedom and mobility are critical aspects of our open societies and preserving these achievements for the future requires a rapid transition to carbon-neutral aviation. Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) have emerged as a key solution to this challenge. Against the backdrop of increasing SAF market shares, the development of efficient catalysts for SAF production has become essential. A recent webinar, held on 22 June, highlighted the ground-breaking CARE-O-SENE research project, which focuses on optimising catalysts for the production of SAF.

Please find the link to the webinar and presentation here.

During the webinar, two distinguished experts and the co-leads of the project, Dr Tobias Sontheimer, Head of the Strategy Department for Energy and Information at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, and Dr Dirk Schär, Technical Manager Marketing and Sales Catalysts at Sasol Germany GmbH, shared their insights into the three-year, €40 million CARE-O-SENE project.

Dr Sontheimer emphasised the importance of accelerating innovation through collaboration between industry and the public sector. Highlighting the exceptional capabilities of the project partners, he said, "By combining the expertise and resources of Sasol, HZB, KIT, UCT, IKTS and INERATEC we are ushering in a new era of sustainable aviation with a focus on catalyst research".

Dr Schär explained the progress being made through CARE-O-SENE. "Our goal is to develop a new kind of more efficient catalysts that maximise kerosene yields in the SAF production process," he explained. "In doing so, we will overcome one of the key barriers to scaling up sustainable aviation fuel production."

As the aviation industry increasingly embraces SAF to reduce its carbon footprint, catalyst optimisation is essential to ensure efficient and cost-effective production. The CARE-O-SENE project's collaborative approach and focus on catalyst research has positioned it at the forefront of the sustainable aviation fuel revolution.

The webinar provided participants with valuable insights into the CARE-O-SENE project. Through the combined efforts of its partners and leading research institutions, the project aims to transform the aviation sector by providing a commercially viable and sustainable alternative to traditional kerosene-based fuels.

As the world grapples with the urgent need to combat climate change, the development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels is becoming increasingly important. The CARE-O-SENE project's commitment to advancing catalyst research is an important step towards achieving carbon-neutral aviation and preserving mobility that is fundamental to our societies.

CARE-O-SENE portrayed in the German Federal Report on Energy Research 2023

CARE-O-SENE portrayed in the German Federal Report on Energy Research 2023

At the beginning of June, the 7th Federal Report for Energy Research 2023 was ratified by the Cabinet. The 110-page publication presents the funding policy and progress of the energy research programme. Under the guiding idea "Innovations for the energy transition", various federal ministries are participating in the programme with the aim to secure innovative, climate-friendly and highly efficient energy technologies.

In 2022, the German government supported several thousand research, development and demonstration projects and invested around 1.5 billion euros. CARE-O-SENE is one of the funded projects. Furthermore, our German-South African development project on the new catalysts in the Fischer-Tropsch process is portrayed in the report under the heading of international cooperation. We as a consortium are convinced that every idea is only as good as the team behind it - and that innovation does not stop at national borders. We are more than grateful that the potential of our research idea is not only recognised but also funded.

You can read the entire report here – you will find the portrait of CARE-O-SENE on page 93.

CARE-O-SENE opens 789th WE Heraeus Seminar on Sustainable Aviation Fuels

CARE-O-SENE opens 789th WE Heraeus Seminar on Sustainable Aviation Fuels

"Sustainable Aviation Fuels – Design, Production and Climate Impact" – this was the topic of the 789th WE Heraeus Seminar hosted by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation From 24 to 27 May, experts in their field presented the current status and future developments in the process chain of sustainable aviation fuels – from raw materials to production and actual application.

Some of our partners from the CARE-O-SENE consortium were also present. These included Prof Michael ClaeysUniversity of Cape Town, and co-organiser Prof. Dr Moritz Wolf from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Dr Denzil MoodleySenior Scientist Research & Technology at Sasol, opened the event with his presentation on the progress of the CARE-O-SENE research project. The aim of the project is to develop and optimise so-called cobalt catalysts. They play a key role in the large-scale production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF).

Denzil Moodley's presentation focused on work packages 2 and 3. The second work package deals with the structural characterisation of catalyst materials in order to support catalyst development and testing in packages 1 and 3. The third work package aims to produce larger quantities of suitable catalysts. This material will then be used to carry out tests on a larger scale.

In addition, the seminar offered young researchers the opportunity to actively participate in panel discussions and exchange ideas with SAF experts. They also had the opportunity to present their own results in poster presentations. Young CARE-O-SENE partners were also present. Rabia Elbuga-Ilica, Enrico Sireci and Dan Zhao from KIT and Dr Catalina E. Jiménez from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), among others, prepared posters. Cherie Hsu from KIT was even able to take home the poster prize for her contribution "Cobalt oxide model systems with mixed metals (Mn, Al, Ti) for optimising the sustainable production of aviation fuel by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis".

The Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation is a non-profit foundation for the promotion and education within the natural sciences. More information on the 789th WE Heraeus Seminar is available here: https://www.we-heraeus-stiftung.de/veranstaltungen/sustainable-aviation-fuels-design-production-and-climate-impact/main/

Strategic Advisory Board visits Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

Strategic Advisory Board visits Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

On May 25th, our partners at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) welcomed the members of the Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) of the Helmholtz Research Field Energy. At the event, Dr Lucero Cobos Becerra and Dr Avela Kunene from HZB presented the CARE-O-SENE project in detail. The goal of this catalyst research programme is to pave the way for large-scale production of sustainable aviation fuels by 2025.

Members of the SAB include Prof. Steven Chu, Nobel laureate in physics and former US Secretary of Energy.

(from left): Prof. Otmar D. Wiestler, President of the Helmholtz Association, Dr Lucero Cobos Becerra, Prof. Steven Chu, Dr Avela Kunene and Prof. Bernd Rech, Managing Director of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.