MechChem Africa

 Prentec (Process Engineering Technology) has been active in South Africa since 1974, mostly in the water and wastewater space. MechChem Africa talks to Martin Pryor, process manager for South African water and wastewater specialist, Prentec, along with Peter Günther, managing director of Prentec’s sister company, Prentec Technical Services.

Advanced local solutions for mine affected waterTypical skid-type reverse osmosis (RO) units for minewater desalination.

“We developed the IP for sequencing batch reactor (SBR) technology, modular wastewater treatment plants that are ideal for farms estates and small municipalities,” says Günther adding that there are now hundreds of these plants around the country.

“SBRs are single units that are designed to manage all of the processing steps involved in wastewater treatment in one reactor,” continues Pryor. “Conventional activated sludge (sewage treatment) requires aeration for oxidation of organics and nitrogen, as well as provision for anaerobic and anoxic conditions for the removal of nitrate and phosphate for complete biological nutrient removal. Then, the solids are settled in a clarifier or thickener, with some activated sludge being recycled, before the clear supernatant water is discharged into the dams or river systems,” he explains.

Prentec SBRs do all of these processes using single modular chambers: an aerator on the top mixes the sludge when needed. When it stops, the activated sludge settles to the bottom of the tank and, after a short period, the clear water can be removed from the top.

“So one piece of process equipment can do the job of a multi-stage treatment facility: and larger processing needs can be accommodated by combining different numbers of modules – our largest plant can treat 6.0 Mℓ/day from eight units,”
Pryor tells MechChem Africa.

“We have a number of our own in-house designs for different treatment technologies and we offer turnkey fabrication, building and commissioning of water plants of any size. In addition, though, Prentec offers fabrication services for a host of other process applications: filter presses; clarifiers; thickeners and specialised process equipment such as rotary coal breakers, which we manufacture for a local OEM,” he says.

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