George Nieuwoudt (Director)
Multistage micro reactor using two powerful forces (impinging & cavitation) for treatment of waste water & Industrial water.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Gouritzmond and Cape Town
Location(s) of impact
South Africa Gauteng
South Africa Cape Town
No website until project is commercialized .
Coal burning power station in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, showing fly ash escaping from the smoke stacks and polluting the atmosphere. The fly ash is the inorganic residue remaining after coal combustion and is mostly captured and removed from the smoke stacks. In South Africa low grade coal with a high inorganic component is burnt, and the waste fly ash is stored in ash dams. The ash can be used to neutralize and treat highly contaminated mine water called acid mine drainage.
Acid mine drainage decants from an abandoned coal mine in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Students from the University of the Western Cape sample the contaminated water in the field. This metal laden and sulphate contaminated water has a pH pf 2 and is continuously decanting from coal mines due to the reaction that takes place when oxygen and water come into contact with pyrite bearing rocks in mine workings. This reaction forms sulphuric acid which dissolves the rocks it comes into contact with.
Complete Pilot setup with the parallel reactors installed. The process uses waste fly ash to treat and remove sulphate and toxic metals from acid mine drainage, and has a minimum impact on the environment. The recovered water is suited for reuse in agriculture. Both Lomina 199 and the University of the Western Cape participated in this pilot scale project. Lomina 199 supplied and developed the reactor and UWC developed the low cost neutralization process allowing the recovery of water.
Flow diagram (developed by University of the Western Cape under supervision of Prof Leslie Petrik) for the setup (coal power waste fly ash was used for treating acid mine water). Lomina 199 (G.S.Nieuwoudt) supplied and developed the patented jet loop reactor system to treat the two waste streams successfully. The process mixing time was enhanced with up to 300% comparing the reactors to normal stirrer conditions. Sulphate and other toxic elements and contaminants are removed from the water.
The finished pilot setup was designed to treat acid mine drainage water with fly ash. Here two waste streams (fly ash and mine water) were mixed with the reactor at only 4 to 5 bar and recovered water was clean. Further work is ongoing to treat municipal waste water and effluent water with a combination of impinging and cavitation. The reactor design is patented by Lomina 199 and the University is doing the process and catalyst development, as well as analyzing the process and product water.
Another reactor (combination of impinging and cavitation) for water treatment designed by Lomina 199. This reactor is currently being used by the University of Western Cape to develop a multistage advanced oxidation process specifically for water treatment. The reactor can work at a low pressure of 3 to 6 bar to treat municipality waste water and industrial water, more specifically to reduce and degrade organic contaminants like hormones, and pharmaceutical substances contaminating water.
Reactors in parallel to see how they will function for upscaling.This setup was design for biodiesel production and the same principal can be use for bigger setups in water treatment designs..Low pressure systems can be use easy in rural areas as well as in huge cities with low energy consumption.These systems can be installing directly at industries sites and treat the water before it move into the municipality main waste streams.
Reactor setup for treatment of effluent water (University of the Western Cape). This setup is currently being optimizing to find the best cavitation type (venturi or orifice etc) to combine with the impinging chamber (flow jets, orifice, vortex jets etc). Cavitation bubbles form in different stages for specific applications. Therefor multistages (2 to 3 stages) in one reactor will give a variety of cavitation forms. The system produces OH radicals breaking down organic pollutants in water
No Face book until project is commercialized; too many inquiries.
No Twitter until project is commercialized;too many inquiries
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Develop a multistage reactor, that can be upscaled easily for industrial use to clean municipal sewerage waste water and industrial water contaminated with organic chemicals and hormones. The reactor system is already suitable for high intensity mixing needed for treating acid mine drainage with fly ash, but it is not yet generating sufficient free radicals to rapidly and completely degrade organic contaminants in effluent water. Our studies are showing significant promise by combining cavitation with impingement.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
The world wide trend is that people are moving from the rural areas to the cities. More people will therefore be negatively impacted by persistent organic contaminated waters. It is critical to develop a low cost system which is capable to remove these contaminants in water (antibiotics, hormones, pharmaceutical substances, other organic chemicals and dyes from the textile sector etc). Current industrial waste water treatment systems are only capable to remove heavy metals, salts (by ion exchange etc) and kill some organisms with chlorine. If persistent organic pollutants are not removed thoroughly at a early stage, critical conditions might arise where municipal water supplies will be very highly contaminated with disastrous health impacts on the population. Recent studies at the University of the Western Cape have shown that many of the persistent organic contaminants escape the current treatment process and are released into the environment from which potable water is sourced.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
Proof of concept and first pilot setup of the jetloop reactor for treating waste mine water with waste fly ash has been successful. This process removes 100% sulphate, most toxic elements and corrects the pH of mine water. By using fly ash to treat acid mine water the process will help recover scarce water resources as well as minimize the impact on the environment of both the mining sector and coal burning power plants. The use of cavitation and impinging together in the jetloop design so as to reduce pollutants such as hormones, pharmaceuticals, dyes and other persistent pollutants in water, whilst simultaneously killing bacteria, and breaking down organic chemical bonds will have a huge future impact on society by supplying people with much safer and cleaner drinking water. The levels of these substances in water will just increase if untreated which will lead to negative health impacts, as currently water treatment plants cannot adequately remove these compounds from water.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
1.Mostly own capital has been used. Own Capital from biodiesel refineries that pay a royalty using the patented jetloop reactor. Probono consultant work done for Eskom and University of Western Cape
2. Grants held by Prof Petrik: Water Research Commission, Coaltech, National Research Foundation, were used to do laboratory and small pilot plant studies
3. Corporate contributions have come from Eskom, the power utility of South Africa, for research into the acid mine drainage treatment process, and the scaling up of the reactor design was funded by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) of South Africa
4. No income has been earned using this reactor design except in the Biofuels industry
5. Other: Currently TIA is funding the development of the acid mine drainage treatment system.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
Other organizations may do the same work, but either work with cavitation alone or on very high pressures above 10 bar. I patented a system that can work on lower pressure using a combination of two forces (cavitation and impinging). Combining these two forces in one reactor is much more intensive . The design also allows for more options of different process combination parameters whereas with cavitation alone or impinging alone the design options for a specific application are minimized.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
I started a biodiesel business (private) which changed my mindset completely. Going green by driving on your own green fuel let me get actively involved in green projects. Then I found out about climate change and about 5 years ago, started working with Prof Leslie Petrik who told me about the bad water quality and the new type of contaminants in our water sources due to industrial development and poor sewerage treatment. Immediately I told her I might have the right patented reactor to help solve the problem. We jointly proved the concept with power station fly ash and acid mine water. Now we are working to develop a cheap water treatment system to reduce organics (hormones, pharmaceuticals, dyes from the textile sector) and thus minimize health impacts from drinking contaminated water. I decided that we need to address this urgently as it might be a bigger problem than climate change.
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?
Upon recommendation from others