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Monday, 25 September 2017

Water saving treatment system to boost textile industry

INNOVATIVE: A treatment system developed at CPUT is expected to be of great benefit to the textile industry INNOVATIVE: A treatment system developed at CPUT is expected to be of great benefit to the textile industry

A treatment system developed by a team of innovators at CPUT’s Flow Process and Rheology Centre is set to boost the textile industry by significantly reducing the amount of potable water the industry uses.

“We are developing a one-step treatment reactor using locally developed nano powders for treating textile wastewater. This treatment system offers an almost instantaneous removal of the colour from the water,” says the Centre’s Prof Veruscha Fester.

“This treatment system will not only be able to treat wastewater for disposal to municipal treatment systems, but to a standard suitable for re-use. If the water can be re-used, millions of litres of potable water will be saved.”

Fester is developing the treatment reactor with the Centre’s Dr Mahabubur Chowdhury and Gunnar Visser.

The laboratory prototype has already been upscaled from 6 L/hour to 72 L/hour.

Fester says R4.8 million has been received from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) Technology Development Fund to upscale the reactor to a 1 000 L/hour industrial prototype in the next year.

“The textile industry is really coming on board. Some of the companies use about 2 million litres of water a month so if we can save at least 75 percent of that water to be recycled and re-used on site – that will make a huge difference.”

The initial research was also started from TIA seed funding administered by CPUT’s Technology Transfer Office (TTO).

The TTO has subsequently filed a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application. It is hoped that a spin-off company will be formed in South Africa that will provide further social benefits beyond water treatment, including the creation of jobs.

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Health and Wellness Sciences and Informatics and Design Faculties.