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The Aaron Klug Centre for Imaging and Analysis

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Research Programmes

Natural Sciences and Engineering

  • Chemical Engineering

    Mechanisms of Fe (III) Oxyhydroxides Precipitation in Lime Neutralization Processes

    Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and hydrometallurgical wastewater are products of metallurgical activities that pose environmental risks as they contain heavy metals. The abundance of Fe in these waste streams and its notorious tendency to precipitate as a sludge has drawn attention to the mechanisms and kinetics of Fe (III) oxyhydroxide precipitation. The lack of a process which meets the effluent discharge limits whilst also producing a sludge-free precipitate that is amenable to metal value recovery has resulted in downstream challenges in terms of sludge disposal in landfills and the significant loss of water associated with this practice. In this study, the mechanisms and kinetics of Fe (III) oxyhydroxide precipitation will be investigated using lime.

    Prof. Alison Lewis, Crystallization and Precipitation Research Unit, University of Cape Town

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