An overwhelming majority of households in developing countries do not yet have access to modern, clean, affordable, and accepted fuels and technologies. The GreenQUEST project aims to change that. Led by a consortium of German and South African research and industry partners, the project aims to develop a viable, sustainable green fuel gas (Green-LFG) in Southern Africa that could radically improve local air quality, reduce deforestation and CO2 emissions, and create economic opportunities for businesses and communities.
The GreenQUEST project combines technological process development with a holistic assessment of the technical, economic, environmental, and social dimensions along the entire green-LFG value chain. The project’s technological approach integrates catalysis research, materials science, and advanced operando analytics, and will be combined with comprehensive socio-technical and environmental analysis and social outreach to assess and subsequently exploit the full potential of the project’s technological, social, and economic impact.
The GreenQUEST project will enable the establishment of new and the strengthening of existing working relationships between South African and German academic partners and could lead to lasting strategic alliances in a crucial research area within the framework of the German government’s “National Hydrogen Strategy”. Bettina Stark-Watzinger, the Minister of Education and Research from the German Federal Government (BMBF), visited the University of Cape Town, the South African lead academic consortium member, where she was updated on the project. This visit served as a reaffirmation of the strong relationship between Germany and South Africa.
The involvement of key industrial partners at an early stage of technology development will enable accelerated technology transfer to the market. New knowledge and strategies will be developed for the introduction of the green fuel that is locally accepted and based on business models. This will create income-generating opportunities for local businesses and open a pathway to social upliftment that goes far beyond the direct impact of the clean green fuel itself.
“Green-LFG will be chemically identical to fossil-LPG and is compatible with all fossil-LPG products currently on the market. However, this novel fuel has a sustainable aspect, which means that green-LFG makes absolutely no compromise on performance, making it just as energy efficient as fossil-LPG while supporting a sustainable future,” says Niels Luchters, CEO of HYENA, the South African leading industrial member of the GreenQUEST consortium.
HYENA is a hard-tech startup out of the University of Cape Town. Its flagship product, the POWER POD, is a fuel cell-based power generator that runs on LPG to provide a reliable source of electricity. HYENA’s innovative approach utilizes the already established LPG regulatory, storage, and distribution infrastructure. HYENA makes fuel cells possible! Additionally, the incorporation of Green-LFG into this infrastructure has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of LPG usage and eventually replace fossil LPG, ultimately achieving carbon neutrality.
The GreenQUEST project is a smart move for individual end-users and society given the environmental, economic, and strategic benefits associated with reducing energy demand. The feasibility of replacing fossil-LPG with green-LFG will be demonstrated using conventional cook stoves and Green-LFG-to-electricity using HYENA’s POWER POD.
The GreenQUEST project represents a crucial step towards achieving sustainable, clean, and affordable energy access for all.