Particulate matter a national concern

7th July 2017 By: Simone Liedtke - Writer

Particulate matter a national concern

PHILIP HOFF MIP invests in young engineers and has, in the past, offered bursaries to chemical engineering students

Owing to government’s 2020 target that air quality in all low-income settlements should be in full compliance with ambient air quality standards, mineral processing company MIP Process Technologies (MIP) MD Philip Hoff says particulate matter is, therefore, a national concern.

Particulate matter – the sum of all solid and liquid particles suspended in the air – such as sulphur dioxide, car emissions and fire, can be hazardous. He explains that they can cause lung diseases and affect the health of persons working and living in the vicinity of a project where particulate matter is released.

Therefore, projects taking place in high-risk environments like smelters, with high-temperature applications, need to have staff who ensure that all safety measurements, equipment and processes are in place.

Owing to this need, MIP – a black economic-empowerment Level 1-compliant company – is dedicating “significant time and focus” to expanding its pollution-control business.

Hoff enthusiastically points out that the company is currently installing a furnace tap hole fume extraction system for a steel plant in Lydenburg, Mpumalanga.

This project is particularly challenging because of the high-temperature environment and the wide area that needs to be enclosed to ensure that all the toxic fumes are captured and operators in close proximity remain functional and safe, he explains.

Hoff further notes that MIP Process has installed two systems in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the removal of sulphur dioxode. These systems employ a complete turnkey solution, including scrubber, instrumentation, ducting, reagent mixing plant, piping and fan.

Also among their product offering, is MIP’s full range of gas-cleaning equipment – which covers the full spectrum of gas cleaning, from standard particulates to noxious gases.

“We do bag filters, such as a pulse bag filter, which is still the most popular type of gas filter in South Africa. We also do a range of dry cyclers, which are generally used prior to the bag filters . . . to remove big particulates,” he explains, noting that bag filters are used to remove finer particulates from a project site.

MIP systems also include packed scrubber column solutions and a variety of other scrubber technologies to effectively capture fumes and remove all pollution components before releasing environment-friendly gas levels into the atmosphere.

MIP first entered the pollution and dust control field when the company acquired all the rights and technology to the products belonging to air filter supplier Alliance Dust Control Services in 2013.

With more than 30 years’ experience in providing dust and fume extraction solutions, Hoff notes that it delivered a new revenue source for MIP.

Hoff further enthuses that MIP has invested in young engineers who have graduated in the chemical and mechanical engineering field.

“We invest in young engineers and have, in the past, offered bursaries to chemical engineering students at Stellenbosch University.”

He concludes that MIP’s manufacturing facility, in Springs – which currently employs chemical and mechanical engineers, as well as young boilermakers and welders – ensures MIP Process has direct control over costs and timelines.