Dr Bruce Sithole




Sithole is a chief scientist leading research in biorefinery and forest products at the CSIR and a professor in chemical engineering at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  He holds a PhD in industrial chemistry from Dalhousie University, Canada. His key competencies are in biorefinery technologies, as well as the valorisation of waste biomass and his research interests lie in integrated forest products biorefinery.  Sithole’s research contributes to the revitalisation and resilience of the pulp and paper industry by diversifying into biorefinery activities that will add more value to the bottom lines of the mills. He also has a research interest in the valorisation of waste chicken feathers.

About the talk

The South African National Development Plan 2030 and associated national and sector-based strategies prioritise a global imperative towards a green economy development path. Transition to a green economy requires research that engages across various sector value chains. The processing of biomass and waste sectors is a priority considering the multitude of opportunities for the development of new value chains from them. The CSIR has expertise, and conducts research activities, to help industry unlock the value chains. The research activities have been enhanced by the establishment of a world-class Biorefinery Industry and Development Facility that provides pilot facilities, chemistry and chemical engineering expertise to develop high-value chains from biomass and organic waste. In his presentation, Sithole will highlight a couple of case studies illustrating where the CSIR has successfully worked with industry to derive maximum value from wood biomass and organic waste.