Removing pollution from water
Research based on work done by Professor Alison Lewis and her team in the Crystallisation and Precipitation Unit (CPU) at UCT, is being used at Eskom’s R8.3 million pilot eutectic freeze crystallisation plant. The research, funded by Eskom removes all pollution from the water, solidifies it into pure salts and cleans the water so it can be reused in the power plant.
Professor Alison Lewis seen with her students Hilton Heydenrych, Benita Aspeling, Jemitias Chivavava and Genevieve Harding at the Eskom plant.
Lewis’s eutectic freeze crystallisation research was first highlighted in 2011 for the treatment of acid mine water which is a big problem in the Gauteng area. The Eskom plant was commissioned, and on 21 April 2016, Lewis and her team visited the completed plant to see their research work being used by industry.
“It has been a long time coming. It is very exciting to see our years of research being put to use. Last year Eskom consumed 298-billion litres of water, and the eutectic freeze crystallisation plant will allow it to improve its consumption of freshwater and allow them to start using polluted mine water. The process is cost-effective and is an environmentally friendly technology,” said Professor Lewis.