Sasol-NRF Partnership Launches Energy Research Activities

Sasol-NRF Partnership Launches Energy Research Activities

Johannesburg, South Africa – In the face of critical energy insecurities and environmental challenges, the South African government, private sector, civil society, and communities are joining forces to develop and implement comprehensive interventions and policies. These initiatives aim to address these energy challenges while prioritising sustainability.

To contribute to these efforts, Sasol and the National Research Foundation (NRF) granted funding in 2022, awarded grants to a group of Research Chairs and Postdoctoral Fellows. Their primary objective is to conduct research in clean and sustainable energy, to conduct research in clean and sustainable energy developing innovations, approaches, knowledge, practices, and tools to tackle energy-related issues and environmental concerns while also exploring opportunities.

The Research Chair programme is part of a larger endeavour to attract and retain excellence in research and innovation at South African public universities. As a collaborative effort, a kick-off event was recently held in Sasolburg, Free State from 27-28 June 2023, where participating researchers shared their learning and experiences on projects, fostered synergies, and exchanged insights and experiences with support from Sasol technical expertise.

These research activities are strategically aligned to national objectives, including the Department of Science and Innovation’s White Paper on Science, Technology, and Innovation, as well as the Hydrogen Society Roadmap. These outline national ambitions and sector prioritisation in advancing the hydrogen economy. Moreover, the partnership aims to foster industry knowledge, innovation, and skills development for postdoctoral fellows involved.

 “The NRF and Sasol are excited to be playing a leading role in supporting and developing industry focused research and industry-ready professionals that will directly contribute to addressing energy challenges in South Africa and the region,” said Dr Sepo Hachigonta, Director: Strategic Partnerships at the NRF.

Highlighting the common goal of the Sasol-NRF collaboration, Dr Molise Mokhadinyana, Acting Vice President: Science Research at Sasol Research and Technology stated, “This collaboration between our organisation and the NRF exemplifies our common goal of pushing the country’s knowledge generation, innovation, and skill development to new heights. This partnership, in collaboration with you all, will cultivate an environment in which ideas and creativity can flourish, leading to breakthroughs that will benefit society as a whole.”

The Sasol-NRF Research Chairs focusing on Energy and Power Systems Modelling, and Green Hydrogen are designed to strengthen and improve research and innovation capacity of public universities, and to attract and retain excellence in research and innovation within the energy sector. Concurrently, the Postdoctoral Innovation Programme Fellowships aim to develop relevant long-term capacity in energy transition and sustainability at Sasol’s research facilities in Sasolburg spanning a duration of up to two years. The programme encompasses research areas such as Green Hydrogen, Energy Storage, Waste Utilisation towards a Circular Economy, Air Quality Assessment, Fischer-Tropsch Catalysis for Power-to-Liquids Applications, and In-situ Characterisation of Catalysts.

Sasol and the NRF will continue to collaborate on tailored programmes to support outstanding research that provides a scientific solution to South Africa’s energy crisis. For more information about the Sasol-NRF Research Chairs and Postdoctoral Innovation Fellowships, please visit our website: here.

For enquiries, please send an email to Refilwe Mashigo at

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