R/€ = 14.08
R/$ = 10.74
Au 1270.75 $/oz
Pt 1415.50 $/oz
Nov 09, 2001
New technologies to save environmentBack
Agriculture|SECURITY|Africa|Amandla Environmental|Cleaning|Gas|Industrial|Phambili|PROJECT|Resources|Security|System|Transformer|Waste|Water|Africa|Europe|South Africa|United States|Security|Chemical Product|Clean Waste Technologies|Clean WastenTechnologies|Cleaning|Energy|Environmental Technology Solutions|Environmental TechnologynSolutions|Manufacturing|Plasma Gas|Plasma Technology|Plasma-converted Gas|Power Generation|Power-generation|Produce Products|Product|Products|Security|Services|Transport|Waste Management|Waste Services|WastenServices|Environmental|Andri Hugo|Power|Security|Waste|Water|Bottom|Fly Ash|Potentially Harmful Air Pollutants|Transformer|Wastes|Connecticut|Clean Waste Technologies|Clean WastenTechnologies|Incineration|Plasma Technology
© Reuse this Ever-increasing urban and industrial development throughout the world is leading to levels of pollution that are seriously threatening the natural resources upon which humankind depends for survival.
The development of integrated pollution-control and waste-management policies and strategies is, therefore, becoming a focal point for governments of developed and developing countries.
Many countries are in the process of evaluating technologies to ensure environmentally-sustainable waste disposal and management. It is for this reason that energy and environmental technology solutions company Amandla Environmental has launched the plasma converter from Startech, technology that converts hazardous and non-hazardous wastes of both organic and inorganic origin into safe, valuable commodities, such as plasma-converted gas.
The firm's director of operations, Andri Hugo, says that about 9,7-million tons of hazardous waste is generated a year in South Africa, adding that some 80 767 t of this is medical waste.
He reports that Gauteng has only one permitted landfill that can receive hazardous waste, forcing medical waste incinerators to operate at full capacity.
It is against this background and the need to introduce clean waste technologies that the firm, in a joint venture with Phambili waste services, a South African integrated waste-management company, proposes the plasma technology for waste-treatment and disposal at a site to be determined in Gauteng.
The technology, which was developed by Startech Environmental, is a pilot facility operating commercially in Connecticut, in the US, and is being commercialised throughout Africa and parts of Europe.
In a nutshell, the technology is a form of hazardous-waste treatment that can destroy a range of wastes, can take gaseous, liquid and solid waste simultaneously, and produce products from waste that can be used commercially, such as gas.
In addition to meeting the objective of recovering and recycling primary and secondary materials, the system is able to dispose of waste in a safe, environment-friendly manner that meets stringent international standards.
The gas produced can, depending on the waste stream, have a high carbon and hydrogen content, which can be used as a feed for chemical product manufacturing or as fuel for power generation or heating and cooling applications.
The initial catalyst is air, principally oxygen and nitrogen, that has been ionised so that it becomes an effective electrical conductor in plasma gas.
The technology is robust and automated, easy to use and operates quietly and safely at normal atmospheric pressure.
It uses an endothermic process to break waste down into its elemental form from which gas and other products are made, while, with conventional incineration methods, waste is reduced to hazardous bottom and fly ash, and potentially harmful air pollutants.
The gas can also be sold to gas users while the wastewater is treated before being discharged and any solids captured in the gas-polishing system can be reintroduced into the system for treatment. The technology can handle any waste stream, including municipal solid waste, medical waste, liquid effluent, abattoir waste, hazardous sludges and even low-level radioactive waste.
It thus reduces the volume of radioactive waste substantially, but does not render it non-radioactive.
The technology has been subjected to a general technical assessment as required by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry for the proposed integrated waste management facility in Gauteng.
According to Hugo, the environmental-impact assessment (EIA) will evaluate the potential effects, both negative and positive, of the operation at a specific site to be selected in consultation with stakeholders and authorities.
Hugo says waste-management strategies of waste reduction, cleaner technologies, waste segregation and recycling should decrease the volume of waste in South Africa, adding that hazardous and medical waste will still be generated and will need to be handled and treated with no health or environmental risk.
"The introduction of an integrated waste-management facility that will handle hazardous and medical waste and meet environmental requirements provides a window of commercial opportunity for the application of the technology," says Hugo.
He reveals that the proposed 50 t/d plant will cost $9,5 million, with a total operational facility cost of $14 million.
The facility will be built and commissioned in the US, imported and installed as a unit, and the 250 m2 facility will consist of a laboratory, waste batching and storage, waste screening and shredding mechanism, water desalination plant, transformer and control rooms.
The project will create 22 permanent jobs and indirect employment will include transport, security and cleaning services.
Potential areas in Gauteng have been identified for the site.
Once stakeholders and authorities have agreed on the criteria to be used, all potential sites will be screened carefully by the study team.
The EIA will have three phases, with the scoping phase and impact assessment being the first, in which issues and concerns that need to be evaluated by specialist investigations are identified, and studies conducted to assess positive or negative effects.
The integration phase then follows, in which all issues raised and findings are integrated into a draft scoping report to obtain public comment.
Decisionmaking is the final phase, in which the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs will make decisions and co-ordinate with other authorities to ensure that a consensus decision is reached.
Edited by: nkolola halwindi© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Environment News
Updated 1 hour 13 minutes ago E-tolling Gauteng's highways has failed and the system falls short of its intentions, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said on Tuesday. "This system is falling far short of its intentions and targets," Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage told public...
Updated 3 hours ago Fuel cell products provider Ballard Power Systems has appointed Randall MacEwen as president and CEO, effective October 6, replacing John Sheridan, who is retiring after serving as the company’s president and CEO since 2006. Sheridan would continue to serve as an...
Updated 3 hours ago Sub-Saharan Africa’s digital revolution was not set to get under way – it had already started, Ericsson VP for strategy, marketing and communication Tumi Sekhukhune told delegates at the Southern Africa Telecommunication Network and Application Conference...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel has announced its fourth consecutive year of profits. The group's results for the financial year 2013/2014 were recently announced at its head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. Revenues grew by 17%, net...
There is little opportunity for JSE-listed infrastructure company Group Five to grow shareholder value in the domestic market, says CEO Mike Upton. He says value can still be found in the private sector, in the renewable and industrial power sector, as well as in...
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has announced the event dates of the 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The event will take place from October 14 to October 25, 2015, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.
UK engineering support services provider Babcock is set to deliver the largest order of global truck manufacturer DAF’s truck tractors in Southern Africa to bulk carrier road-based logistics company Ngululu Bulk Carriers (NBC), with 133 trucks to be delivered in...
Digital radio communications in the African local government space can open up the world, but have many challenges to overcome, notes integration and migration of legacy radio communications infrastructure with digital mobile radio company Emcom Wireless head of...