In a world grappling with the effects of pollution and global warming, hydrogen is a viable alternative in generating cleaner, “greener” energy to not only benefit humankind, but also the environment.
Hydrogen South Africa (HySA), a national flagship programme approved by the Cabinet, is at the forefront of hydrogen technologies in South Africa. The North-West University (NWU) and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) host a HySA Centre of Competence (CoC) of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) at the Potchefstroom Campus of the university and at the CSIR.
This HySA Infrastructure CoC, led by Prof Dmitri Bessarabov, DSI HySA director, recently showcased a groundbreaking exhibition to support the South Africa Green Hydrogen Summit (SAGHS) 2022.
Unique and pioneering exhibition
The NWU and CSIR team, led by Prof Bessarabov, developed a unique and first-of-its-kind exhibition focusing on local technology and intellectual property developed by the HySA Infrastructure CoC at the NWU.
“The exhibition displayed locally developed components for hydrogen production by water electrolysis as well as related systems and storage technologies.” Prof Bessarabov says the exhibition also included educational interactive tables demonstrating elements of the South African Hydrogen Roadmap.
A large team of HySA Infrastructure CoC staff worked at the exhibition. Academics and staff from the NWU were Prof Bessarabov, Dr Phillimon Modisha, Samuel Mamathuntsha, Samuel Modise, Dr Neels le Roux, Dr Boitumelo Mogwase and Geoffrey Bantom. Prof Liezl van Dyk, executive dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the NWU, also attended the summit as a delegate.
More about the South Africa Green Hydrogen Summit
Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) hosted the inaugural South Africa Green Hydrogen Summit (SAGHS) in Cape Town at the end of November.
“The SAGHS showcased South Africa’s offering as an early-stage, large-scale, low-cost, world-class green hydrogen production hub and total value chain investment destination,” says Prof Bessarabov.
South Africa is one of the founding members of the Africa Green Hydrogen Alliance (AGHA), which seeks to promote continental green hydrogen cooperation. Senior delegations from the other founding members of the AGHA – including Egypt, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco and Namibia – were also invited to showcase their unique offering at the SAGHS.
The summit took place from 28 to 30 November in Century City. It included a keynote address by President Cyril Ramaphosa. High-level panels discussed the challenges and opportunities in implementing green technologies during the event.
Part of exhibition stays in Cape Town
A part of the exhibition will stay in Cape Town as part of the World Science Forum (WSF) 2022 taking place from 6 to 9 December. Hosted by the DSI and themed “Science for Social Justice”, the WSF will take place in Cape Town for the first time. The HySA exhibition will return to the NWU after this event.
Prof Dmitri Bessarabov, DSI HySA director, with delegates during the South Africa Green Hydrogen Summit (SAGHS) 2022. They are Dr Phil Mjwara, director general at the Department of Science and innovation, Dr Thulani Dlamini, chief executive officer at the CSIR, and Somila Xosa of the Department of Science and Innovation.
Dignitaries who attended the South Africa Green Hydrogen Summit included Ms Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment. With her is Dr Boitumelo Mogwase, postdoctoral research fellow at HySA Infrastructure and Somilia Xosa of the Department of Science and Innovation. At the back are Joyce Kabui of Green Hydrogen Organisation in Kenya and Dr Phillimon Modisha of HySA Infrastructure.
Prof Dmitri Bessarabov, DSI HySA director, and Prof Liezl van Dyk, executive dean of the NWU’s Faculty of Engineering, during the summit.
Dr Boitumelo Mogwase, postdoctoral research fellow, Samuel Mamathuntsha, fuel cell technologist, and Dr Phillimon Modisha, research manager of HySA’s Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC) Laboratory at the NWU, were part of the team who ran the exhibition.
Dr Boitumelo Mogwase from HySA Infrastructure, Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande, and Samuel Modise from HySA at the World Science Forum (WSF) 2022.