Based on its ongoing analyses of methods of sustainable development in water treatment, Frost & Sullivan recognises Fraser Alexander with the 2013 South Africa Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation. Fraser Alexander's shareholding in Mine Water Treatment Technologies (Miwatek) has opened up access to a recently developed and highly innovative acid mine drainage (AMD) and mine impacted water (MIW) treatment process technology, the Miwatek Process Technology.
The new product combines pioneering pre-treatment methodology with membrane technologies specifically suited for AMD and MIW treatment. These sophisticated technologies, along with a strategic, targeted chemical modelling system, will advance outputs in AMD and MIW treatment by significantly reducing sludge while producing by-products for reuse or sale.
"By designing and building water treatment plants that treat water based on site-specific water analyses, the Miwatek Process Technology can produce end user-defined outputs of potable or discharge-quality water and by-products for reuse or sale, thereby minimising hazardous waste streams and reducing costs," said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst James Milne.
Fraser Alexander's water treatment division aims to help mines achieve zero-liquid discharge. Its innovative water treatment technologies will not only provide economically viable solutions for environmental and water management concerns in mines, but will also aid sustainable development of communities affected or at risk of being affected by AMD or MIW discharges. As the technology will assist end users in producing treated water that meets SANS 241 standards, it helps address South Africa's growing demand for potable water.
Although the Miwatek Process Technology is at the early stages of commercialisation, initial reports point toward significant positive outcomes in terms of functionality. A key function of the technology is at the pre-treatment level, ensuring complete chemical reactions and a stable water feed to the first reverse osmosis membrane (RO) system.
"If Fraser Alexander successfully commercialises the technology as envisaged, it can significantly optimise the cost to clients in the areas of environmental rehabilitation and water usage," noted Milne. "It can do this by generating clean water for reuse, producing potable water for personal consumption and/or resale to water authorities, and the development of viable by-product extractions that can offset/limit costs."
Notably, in the initial testing stages, approximately 95 per cent of the water output after a two-stage RO process has been observed to be potable quality. A final critical benefit is the reduced energy consumption through the application of a low-pressure RO system at the first RO stage.
This advanced and innovative technology will be a vital solution not only for Fraser Alexander and the mining customer, but more importantly, for the communities at risk of contamination by AMD or MIW.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated uniqueness in developing a technology that significantly impacts both the functionality and the customer value of new products and applications. The award lauds the relevance of the innovation to the industry.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
About Fraser Alexander
Fraser Alexander (fraseralexander.co.za), founded in 1912, is best known for its long tradition of providing customised solutions to the mining industry. The company delivers innovative solutions and infrastructure to move, manage and add value to resources, waste and water across the mining and industrial value chains.
Fraser Alexander has always been committed to innovation and technological advancement, allowing it to become a multi-disciplined industry giant with operations spanning the globe.
The company's major sustainability concerns are focused on minimising environmental impacts, as a result of its operational presence and the operations of others.
As a responsible corporate citizen, Fraser Alexander is committed to behaving in a morally responsible and accountable manner. This commitment is clearly demonstrated by its involvement in the development of feasible solutions to address the existing and future threats of mine impacted water, with a strong focus on acid mine drainage.
Fraser Alexander is considered the benchmark for what a mining and industrial service provider should be: a sturdy pillar of the economy, a powerful force in bettering the environment and above all, a concerned employer aiming for levels of performance that aren't just good, but great.
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Contact: George Barrie
P: 011 929 3600 - E: georged[.]fraseralexander.co.za