Decentralized Diesel

The waste to fuel initiative is a collaborative  project with a research team across three continents that contribute to the development of a modular technology to produce fuel from waste. The initiative includes researchers from the  Catalysis Institute, Cape Town (South Africa), the Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun (India) and the Laboratório Nacional de Luz Síncrotron, Campinas (Brazil).


Research Areas

Current Areas of Study

Process modelling


Rework well-developed, robust technology in a way that decreases complexity and cost and allows for modular, off-grid applications.

Catalyst development


Developing catalysts that have favorable activity, selectivity and stability for each of the catalytic processes within the decentralized diesel process.




Thermal annealing of Au/Ag modified Pt nanowires: influence of reactive gases on segregation behavior

Steam reforming of glycerol for syngas production using Pt-Ni nano particles

Thermodynamics of a lognormal distribution of cobalt crystalliites in the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis under high conversion conditions

Zinc aluminate as a novel support for high conversion Fischer-Tropsch using a cobalt catalyst

The effect of platinum deposition order on the active surface of Pt-Co/SiO2 for the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis


Deactivation mechanisms in a Pt-Co/Al2O3 Fischer-Tropsch catalyst operated at high conversion

Activity and selectivity of Pt-Co/Al2O3 operating at high conversion

Platinum promoted cobalt supported on metal-organic framework for Fischer-Tropsch  

Methane tri-reforming over bimetallic Pt catalysts

Manganese as a promoter for cobalt Fischer-Tropsch catalysts operated at high conversion for once-through Fischer-Tropsch synthesis

Modelling and evaluation of a single pass reactor configuration for a Fischer-Tropsch biogas-to-distillate process

Design of a single pass waste-to-liquid plant for remote fuel production.

Our Team

Scientific group leading the project

Eric van Steen

South African Reaction Engineering Research Chair

Ankur Bordoloi

Senior Scientist CSIR Indian Institute of Petroleum

Chelsea Tucker

Waste to Fuel Initiative Research Coordinator

Dean H. Barrett

Joint Researcher at University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and National Centre for Energy and Materials research (Brazil)

Cristiane Barbieri Rodella

Leader of the XPD Group at Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory




Sandeeran Govender


Tracey Van Heerden

Computational catalysis

Vuyisile Mahlaba

Reforming catalysis

Gerard Letaba

Catalyst synthesis

Avela Kunene

Catalyst testing

Thobani Gambu

Fuel cell and computational catalysts

Jyoti Ghatori

Aqueous Fischer-Tropsch 

Sweta Kotnala

Glycerol reforming

Lovjeet Singh

Catalysts characterization and testing

Silethukuthula Mathe

Manganese promoted cobalt catalysts

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