Project 2: Identification and evaluation of downstream options for the recovery of value and/or products from fibre producing plants
Project 2 is being led by Dee Bradshaw, Director of the Minerals to Metals Initiative in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. Prof Bradshaw is the SARChI Chair for Minerals Beneficiation.
We are responsible for the Identification and Evaluation of Downstream Options for the Recovery of Value and/or Products from Fibre Producing Plants. Our team includes Associate Professor Jennifer Broadhurst, Adjunct Professor Mike Solomon, Mr Brian Chicksen, VP Sustainability at AngloGold Ashanti, and Professor Jochen Petersen, Head of Hydrometallurgy in the Department of Chemical Engineering. We bring the following specific skills and expertise of direct relevance to this project:
Development of metal and material value chains from both a fundamental technology and systemic performance perspective.
Complex, multi-criteria decision-making in the context of engineering design
Sustainability issues of relevance to the mining and mineral beneficiation sector, post-closure land use and impacts, environmental pollution, mine waste characteristics and management, and mine-community conflict
Processes and technologies for the recovery of metals from secondary sources (urban mining).
Our brief is to conduct a first-order performance assessment and comparison of processing routes for recovering metals, products from plant biomass. An anticipated outcome is a policy brief guide on the feasibility and consequences of processing alternatives for the conversion of fibre-producing plant into valuable outputs.
In terms of our approach, we will be using the generic process systems design and technology selection framework. This can be broken down into three steps:
Firstly, the generation of alternatives in the form of process flow diagrams and input-output data. The data enables quantitative understanding of material and energy flows over a whole array of unit operations as a function of technology efficiencies.
Analysis of alternatives: • micro-economic • environmental • socio-technical • technical. The information allows for measures of process performance against objectives/targets.
Informed decision-making and selection of preferred alternative(s).
This project will be developed in close collaboration with SARChI: Bioprocess Engineering (CeBER/Future Water)
Downstream options and inputs will be informed to a lesser or greater extend by the choice of fibres and the opportunities for metal recovery i.e. upstream scenarios
Outcomes will form the basis for the development of extended material value chains and socio-economic linkages, as well as inform legislative barriers and drivers.
Towards Resilient Futures CoP
c/o Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU)
University of Cape Town
Private Bag X3
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 5701 ResilientFutures@uct.ac.za