Stephanus du Preez completed his BSc Chemistry, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics and a BSc (Honors) in Chemistry in 2012. In 2014, he completed a MSc in Chemistry (cum laude), focusing on the oxidation of chromium present in chromite dust as it passes through off-gas flaring stacks. In 2017, he obtained his PhD in Chemistry, titled "Ferrochromium waste management - addressing current gaps" from the North-West University (NWU), Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa. His PhD studies focused on environmental, waste management and process related aspects of the ferrochromium production process, with the main focus on lowering electrical consumption of the smelters, reducing the carbon footprint, rehabilitation of hazardous process residues and recovery of valuables from various process residue streams. In 2018, he completed a MEng in Chemical Engineering (cum laude), were his studies focused on the mechanochemical activation of aluminum for hydrogen generation purposes using neutral pH water. Up to date, he has published 10 internationally accredited, peer-reviewed papers in scientific and engineering journals and holds a Netherlands patent, titled "Activation compounds for hydrogen generation".
He is currently enrolled with HySA Infrastructure at the NWU in a post-doctoral research program in the area of hydrogen-related technologies under the mentorship of Dr. Dmitri Bessarabov.
Stephanus is also a visiting Rutherford Fellow, under the supervision of Dr. Charles Dunnill as part of the Strategic partnership grant from BIES and the HYENA Network. He is tasked with developing a flame-less hydrogen burner for domestic applications. The primary idea behind this device is to minimize the use of indoor solid fuel combustion as a means to prepare food. By doing so, the ambient household air-quality will improve significantly, which will likely alleviate health issues relating to poor-air quality exposure/inhalation.
A surface micrograph of the in-house developed and produced catalytic system.
An example of our specialized material in action.