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GreenQuest 2024

Taking Africa from biomass to green gas

On 22 March 2024, the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Catalysis Institute welcomed the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) state secretary, Professor Dr Sabine Döring. The state secretary’s visit was focused on providing an update on the progress of the BMBF-funded GreenQUEST clean household fuel project.

Story by NICOLE FORREST, photos by Candice Lowin, UCT NEWS

One-third of the world’s population lacks access to clean household energy. Nearly one billion of these people live in sub-Saharan Africa and are forced to rely on fuels such as biomass (eg wood), coal and kerosene to cook and to heat their homes.

Although these fuels are cheap and accessible, they’re inefficient, and highly polluting. When burned, these combustibles produce a mixture of soot and smoke. This causes a variety of illnesses, and ultimately results in nearly four million premature deaths worldwide each year.

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