University of South Africa

A method and apparatus for treating a fluid utilising nanoscience. The impurities in the fluid are trapped by the through charged nanoparticles. The fluid is contained in a reactor that includes a moving magnetic system. When the reactor is in use, the moving magnetic system excites the charged nanoparticles carrying the impurities thus mobilising the particles and the impurities. This reduces the energy requirements as only the particles of interest are mobilised in the system. Since the system contains no moving part, the maintenance costs will be greatly reduced. The system can be tailored for specific applications.

The problem of removing the particles after purification led to the idea of a nanoparticle that has a magnetic core. These magnetic nanoparticles have been around for a while and many ‘removal techniques’ have been developed and researched to increase the efficiency of removal. However, these systems continue to utilise mechanical excitation methods of the nanoparticles. The moving parts are subject to wear and tear. The purpose of this project is to build the next generation prototype that utilises a moving electromagnet to move charged nanoparticles in a fluid. It has already been demonstrated in laboratory systems that this system works well to remove specific impurities in water. There is a need to, therefore, scale this up.

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Hofsajer, IW (Wits)