University of Cape Town

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University of Cape Town

Organisation Introduction

The Catalysis Institute at the University of Cape Town is one of the premier heterogeneous catalyst research institutions on the African continent. With its origins in petrochemistry the Catalysis Institute has built an international reputation in synthesis gas chemistry, specifically via the hydrogenation of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide to longer chained hydrocarbons via the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis and related processes. To this end expertise in (model) catalyst synthesis, characterization and testing has been established with a special focus on in situ and operando techniques, i.e. the analysis of catalyst under working conditions.


The E-TANDEM consortium is an ideal fit for the technological focus of the Catalysis Institute. The underlying process proposal aims to produce synthetic fuels from carbon dioxide and green hydrogen, a classic Power-to-X technology. Southern Africa is globally one of the hotspots for the anticipated global renewable energy trade, blessed with ample renewable energy capacity as well as the majority of the global platinum-group-metal reserves which are likely required for the generation of green hydrogen. The E-TANDEM product represents an additional energy vector to transport renewable energy and hydrogen bound in energy dense molecules and is as such of strategic interest for the South African and global economy.

Involvement in E-TANDEM

The existing expertise in operating catalytic processes under industrially relevant continuous flow conditions, paired with the infrastructure and knowledge to continuously analyze the expected complex product spectra, is the main contribution of the team at the Catalysis Institute to the success of the E-TANDEM consortium.

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“The E-TANDEM project aligns with the goals and vision of the Catalysis Institute and the University of Cape Town working towards a more sustainable society and reducing the global impact of humanity through innovative technologies.”

Project progress

© 2023 E-TANDEM

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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