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lunes, 26 de marzo de 2018

The South African Government launches the Biorefinery Industry Development Facility in Durban

Type of post: NEWS IN BRIEF.

The South African government has launched the Biorefinery Industry Development Facility (BIDF) at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) campus in Durban on 20 March 2018 (see press release, 20/3/2018). With an investment of 37.5 million South African rands (approximately 2.6 M€), the facility will support innovation and assist the industry efforts for scale new processes from the laboratory to the commercial scale.

The facility is the third Industry Innovation Partnership Fund (IIPF) initiative to be launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the CSIR. The other two are the Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre and the Nanomaterials Industrial Development Facility. The BIDF will work with the forest and the agro-processing sectors and other biomass industries to improve manufacturing technologies and to develop and implement biorefinery processes to create additional high value products from wastes.

Figure 1. Cover of the brochure of the BIDF

The BIDF will allow to large industry and SMEs to access to research and development services of technologies for processing biomass. Some of the equipment at the BIDF is unique in South Africa. The facility is home to highly-skilled chemists, engineers and biologists who are well-versed in processes for biomass valorisation. Significant investments are being made to train the human capital required to support the sector. The CSIR has partnered with the University of KwaZulu-Natal to develop the required skills and expertise that will promote biorefinery technologies in South Africa.

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