Mining Weekly

20th June 2018

Emission abatement technology could drive industrialisation – EPCM Global

By: Nadine James, Creamer Media Writer
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn, Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

South African firm EPCM Global Engineering has partnered with Luxembourg-based Carbon Process & Plant Engineering (CPPE) to bring its emissions abatement technology to Africa, in a move that could spur industrialisation, says EPCM Global CEO Tumi Kgomo.

He explains that the technology, which was developed by CPPE, is an activated carbon-based multipollutant emission abatement system that is contained in a single, scalable and modular process plant.

Kgomo notes that aside from abating pollutants from industrial manufacturing and power-generation processes – these pollutants, such as sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, heavy metals and submicron particulate matter – can be converted to saleable products, specifically fertilisers and sulphuric acid.

The latter benefit is of particular interest to Kgomo, who believes the potential for using a waste stream to generate products for the local chemical, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries is immense.

Moreover, the potential to create symbiotic relationships with minerals processing and power generating companies, as well as chemicals companies and manufacturers, could contribute to the development of a circular economy, he says.

Kgomo, however, cautions that greater levels of integration between government and the private sector are necessary before such a vision can be fully realised.

CPPE’s proven technology and processes make use of treated activated carbons to remove the aforementioned pollutants, as well as mercury, dioxins and furans, and submicron particulates from industrial flue gases, explains CPPE CEO Dr Alain Strickroth.

He comments that, depending on the application, and the type of pollution abatement required, CPPE can design a multiple bed, single reactor, which will deal with these pollutants in a logical sequence.

He explains that the reason this technology, which was developed by CPPE’s predecessor in the 1950s, is not well-known is because, historically, the company leveraged its technology to achieve a competitive advantage.

Strickroth adds that, in the decades since, his company has realised the potential benefits for similar industries, particularly those that use sulphur-based processes.

The CPPE solution has already been used by local industrial and mining companies, including South African titanium dioxide producer Huntsman-Tioxide and Impala Platinum.

Kgomo points out that the introduction of this technology will enable industrial and power generation greenhouse-gas emitters to ensure that South Africa meets the minimum emission standards in support of its compliance to the Paris Agreement.

Given the inherent scalability of the technology, users need only adjust the amount, or chemical treatment of the activated carbon if or when emissions standards become more stringent, Strickroth adds.

The technology will enable industrial emitters to achieve the minimum emissions standards required by April 2020 and any further stringent minimum standards beyond this date, he states.

Further, this technology provides a “simple, reliable and sustainable once-through process”.

Kgomo adds that the technology meshes well with the country’s natural and economic resources. It provides several advantages to competing technologies, as it requires no limestone, operates at atmospheric temperature and pressure, has lower operating costs, lower water requirements, no waste disposal onto waste dumps and requires very little maintenance and supervision, minimising the need for skilled labour.

EPCM Global will act as CPPE’s implementing agency in their objective to introduce and implement these “clean corrective technologies, for the advancement of industry in Africa", notes Kgomo.

Kgomo and Strickroth have embarked on an awareness drive to communicate the benefits of the CPPE technology, having arranged meetings with South African industries and government regulatory authorities.

EPCM Global and CPPE are announcing their business partnership and presenting at the Africa Energy Forum, which is being held in Mauritius this week.