South Africa showcased its state-of-the-art Biorefinery Industry Development Facility in Durban to ministers responsible for science, technology and innovation (STI) from Brazil, Russia, India and China.

 

The South African Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, hosted her BRICS counterparts at the R37,5 million facility, which was launched earlier this year by the Department of Science and Technology and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

 

The facility is aimed at extracting maximum value from biomass waste from a range of industries, including forestry, agroprocessing, and other bio-based industries.

 

Prof. Bruce Sithole, CSIR Manager for Forestry Products, gave an overview of the work the facility was doing. He explained to the visiting dignitaries how the facility had the potential to be of service in many sectors. One example given was the use of chicken feathers in high-value products, such as nanomaterials for biomedical applications.

 

The facility is accessible to enterprises of all sizes for research and development, as well as analytical and pilot-scaling testing.

 

The tour took place on 3 July 2018, ahead of the 6th BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting, which was held under the theme "Leveraging science, technology and innovation through inclusive growth and development."