Dyllon Randall, South Africa finalist

Dyllon Randall obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 2010. He is currently employed as a Research Officer at the same university. This year he was invited to participate in a Human Rights Commission of South Africa, Section Five Committee on Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). This committee was formed to address the growing concern of AMD inĀ  South Africa. He was also awarded the 2011 Research Paper of the Year from the South African Institute of Chemical Engineers as well as the Water Institute of Southern Africa SAIWA Award for 'outstanding contribution in industrial water technology'.

His love for chemistry and concern for the environment has shaped his career path significantly. His current research focuses on using crystallization and precipitation to treat waste waters, particularly in the mining industry of South Africa. His ultimate goal is to get people to start thinking of waste as a resource.

 

Pass the salt - recovery of water and salts from mining brines using eutectic freeze crystallization

'Water is the new oil' - this is currently the catchphrase all over the world, from Texas to Tianjin. Mining and extractive metallurgy are facing particularly extreme water challenges as, besides the decline in availability of sufficient water, there is also a deterioration of the quality of the available water. What's more, with the increasing use of water treatment, the result has been an increased generation of brines and concentrates and it is projected that the generation volumes will increase exponentially over the next 10 to 20 years.

Eutectic Freeze Crystallization (EFC) is a new and exciting water treatment technology that can solve the problems associated with brine generation. Not only does EFC recover water, but it also recovers pure salt(s) at a reduced cost, thus offering a major advantage over many conventional water treatment methods. The results show that EFC can reduce the volume of a Reverse Osmosis brine by as much as 96% and that pure calcium sulphate and pure sodium sulphate can be produced along with potable water. This is against a backdrop where currently the most common method for handling these brines is either storage in evaporation ponds or evaporative crystallization which, in most cases, still produces a mixed solid waste that needs to be disposed of at an additional cost.

 

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