Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Publications

3 The removal of Ni, Cu and Fe from a Mixed Metal System using Sodium Hypophosphite as a Reducing Agent

Authors: Promise Sethembiso Ngema, Freeman Ntuli, Mohamed Belaid

Abstract:

The main objective of this study was to remove and recover Ni, Cu and Fe from a mixed metal system using sodium hypophosphite as a reducing agent and nickel powder as seeding material. The metal systems studied consisted of Ni-Cu, Ni-Fe and Ni-Cu-Fe solutions. A 5 L batch reactor was used to conduct experiments where 100 mg/l of each respective metal was used. It was found that the metals were reduced to their elemental form with removal efficiencies of over 80%. The removal efficiency decreased in the order Fe>Ni>Cu. The metal powder obtained contained between 97-99% Ni and was almost spherical and porous. Size enlargement by aggregation was the dominant particulate process.

Keywords: wastewater treatment, Crystallization, heavy metal removal, electroless plating

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2 Feasibility Study for a Castor oil Extraction Plant in South Africa

Authors: Mohamed Belaid, Edison Muzenda, Getrude Mitilene, Mansoor Mollagee

Abstract:

A feasibility study for the design and construction of a pilot plant for the extraction of castor oil in South Africa was conducted. The study emphasized the four critical aspects of project feasibility analysis, namely technical, financial, market and managerial aspects. The technical aspect involved research on existing oil extraction technologies, namely: mechanical pressing and solvent extraction, as well as assessment of the proposed production site for both short and long term viability of the project. The site is on the outskirts of Nkomazi village in the Mpumalanga province, where connections for water and electricity are currently underway, potential raw material supply proves to be reliable since the province is known for its commercial farming. The managerial aspect was evaluated based on the fact that the current producer of castor oil will be fully involved in the project while receiving training and technical assistance from Sasol Technology, the TSC and SEDA. Market and financial aspects were evaluated and the project was considered financially viable with a Net Present Value (NPV) of R2 731 687 and an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 18% at an annual interest rate of 10.5%. The payback time is 6years for analysis over the first 10 years with a net income of R1 971 000 in the first year. The project was thus found to be feasible with high chance of success while contributing to socio-economic development. It was recommended for lab tests to be conducted to establish process kinetics that would be used in the initial design of the plant.

Keywords: project feasibility, net present value, solvent extraction, Mechanical pressing, Oilextraction

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1 Estimating the Absorption of Volatile Organic Compounds in Four Biodiesels Using the UNIFAC Procedure

Authors: Corina M Mateescu, Edison Muzenda, Mohamed Belaid, Saka Abdulkareem, Ayo S Afolabi

Abstract:

This work considered the thermodynamic feasibility of scrubbing volatile organic compounds into biodiesel in view of designing a gas treatment process with this absorbent. A detailed vapour – liquid equilibrium investigation was performed using the original UNIFAC group contribution method. The four biodiesels studied in this work are methyl oleate, methyl palmitate, methyl linolenate and ethyl stearate. The original UNIFAC procedure was used to estimate the infinite dilution activity coefficients of 13 selected volatile organic compounds in the biodiesels. The calculations were done at the VOC mole fraction of 9.213x10-8. Ethyl stearate gave the most favourable phase equilibrium. A close agreement was found between the infinite dilution activity coefficient of toluene found in this work and those reported in literature. Thermodynamic models can efficiently be used to calculate vast amount of phase equilibrium behaviour using limited number of experimental data.

Keywords: thermodynamic, Equilibrium, Biodiesel, Gas Treatment, Infinitedilution

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