Prof Johann Görgens

Distinguished Professor | Biorefineries, techno-economics & bioprocessing

Short Bio

Johann F. Görgens is a distinguished professor in chemical engineering with over 20 years’ experience in bioenergy/biomass projects in industry and academia. Prof Görgens holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and an MBA degree, both from Stellenbosch University. He coordinates a wide range of research collaborations with public and private funders.

His research focus is on the development of process technologies for conversion of biomass and wastes into valuable products, in a manner that is practical, affordable and sustainable, thereby resulting in sustainable processes. His multidisciplinary approach to research has included participation as a core member in the Research Chair in Biofuels/BioEnergy (CoER) at Stellenbosch University, which addresses a range of chemical/thermochemical/biological process technologies for biomass and wastes conversion. Contributions from his research group to the CoER include kilogram-scale process development and technology assessments through simulation studies. Simulations allow comparative assessment of process technologies in terms of conversion efficiencies, economic viability and (life-cycle) environmental impacts, providing a comprehensive method to select preferred processes through sustainability. The scope of end-products includes various bio-energy options, as well as multiple food, feed, chemicals and materials that can be produced for the valourisation of organic and carbonaceous wastes. Integration of experimental at kilogram scale with simulation development has created an excellent basis to identify preferred technologies for local implementation.

Research Interests

Biochemical conversion of biomass and organic wastes into fuels and chemicals
Pyrolysis processing of biomass and organic/carbonaceous wastes
Biorefineries for foods, fuels and chemicals from biomass and organic wastes
Bioprocess development with microbial and enzymatic systems

Selected Publications

Visit my Google Scholar Profile for a complete list of my publications.


Thermodynamics A214
Heat Transfer A326
Postgraduate short course in Bio-energy, presented annually with the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies
Short courses for Biotech and Food industries in Aseptic processing and Good Manufacturing Practice, presented annually