Solar Carbon Black Project Signing Agreement

Press release (Nr. IX) /

Thursday, September 30, 2010- Qatar Science & Technology Park and Fraunhofer officially signed the joint research project announcing a collaborative venture focusing on the development of a solar cracking reactor that could benefit society at large in Berlin. The details of the contract were concluded at the end of June 2010.

The joint research agreement was signed by Dr. Tidu Maini, Science and Technology Advisor to Her Highness, Executive Chairman Qatar Science & Technology Park and Professor Dr. Ulrich Buller, Senior Vice President Research Planning, Legal Affairs of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Germany. Witnessing the event were Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al-Missned, and Dr. Johannes Beermann, State Minister and Chief of the State Chancellery of Saxony.

QSTP and Fraunhofer will team up on a project involving the solar thermal production of hydrogen from methane. The solar reactor is designed to use concentrated solar energy as a source of heat in order to directly decompose natural gas into gaseous H2 and particulate carbon. This decomposition method limits the emission of CO2. The collaborative work will be done by both QSTP and Texas A&M University in Qatar. The project will be equally funded by Qatar Science & Technology Park and the Government of Saxony.

The development of the solar reactor as a technology yields several key benefits. First results of this novel technology can be used as additives for rubber tires and conveyor belts. The way it is designed does not ally the emission of any toxic gases or those leading to global warming; in consequence, there is no need for the capturing, storing and transporting of CO2. The solar production of hydrogen reduces the emission of harmful CO2, which can be contrasted to the energy from fossil fuels.

Dr. Tidu Maini said about the collaboration: “It is a unique chance for us to work on an applied research project with Fraunhofer, whose deep experience and know-how is valued by us. This project builds on Her Highness's vision that Qatari research focuses on its inherent strength in oil and gas to produce environmentally friendly and value added products.”

Professor Dr. Eckhard Beyer, Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden, Germany emphasized: “Supplying all necessary energy for a decomposition of natural gas into gaseous H2 and particulate carbon completely from the sun is an ambitious aim. But the scientists and engineers of the Fraunhofer IWS meet the challenge in close cooperation with their colleagues from Qatar.”

Dr. Beermann pointed out that Saxony has a strong interest in a fruitful cooperation in research and development with Qatar. Forward thinking developments for using renewable energy help to strengthen the position of Saxony as technological location and to establish sustainable using of the natural resources in Qatar.

Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP)

Qatar Science & Technology Park is a home for technology-based companies from around the world and an incubator for start-ups enterprises. Providing premises and services, QSTP's support programs help organizations to develop and commercialize their technologies. Research focuses on the four industry pillars of QSTP: Energy, Environment, Health Sciences and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). At the forefront of industry-university collaboration, QSTP is located in Qatar Foundation's Education City, alongside campuses of several leading universities. Its objective is to attract companies and entrepreneurs from around the world so they can develop and commercialize their technology in Qatar.


Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. It undertakes applied research of direct utility to private and public enterprise and of wide benefit to society. More than 12, 000 qualified scientists and engineers at 80 research units at different locations in Germany improve methods and techniques, shape technologies and design products in a wide range of application fields. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS Dresden offers research and development in the area of laser and surface technology. The technical focal points are laser beam joining, cutting, hardening and ablation processes, surface treatment and thin film coatings as well as gas phase processes, process monitoring, and nanoparticle technology.

For further information please contact:

MMK Markt- & Medien-Kommunikation
Bell Pottinger - MMK GmbH
Sarah Weiser
Telefon: +49 (40) 318 04 138
Fax: +49 (40) 318 04 199

Stefan Freundlieb
Telefon: +49 (40) 318 04 190
Fax: +49 (40) 318 04 199

For more information about QSTP, please contact:

Ms. Emma Shaffu
PR Executive QSTP