MechChem Africa

On February 1st 2018, the Western Cape Members Group attended a presentation at the UCT Chemical Engineering Department by Mike Hancock of the University of Chester in the UK.

Mike Hancock CEng, FIChemE, is a visiting lecturer at the UCT Department of Chemical Engineering. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge and thereafter joined Shell Petrochemicals and later the Fertilisers division. After many years he joined ICI Corporate Services before embarking on consultancy, which now focuses on Industrial Energy Efficiency. He is a Fellow of the Energy Institute, a member of the Register of Professional Energy Consultants and an IRCA registered auditor for ISO 50 001, Energy Management Standard.

Mike Hancock et alAt a Western Cape members group meeting at UCT in February are, from left: N Isafiates, UCT; Eric Van Steen, UCT; Mike Hancock, Chester University/Dee Associates; and Hamied Mazema, Pro & RM.

He had been on holiday and had just sailed into Cape Town aboard the QE 2 when he kindly agreed to visit UCT’s Chemical Engineering Department. He also agreed to hold a seminar to inform members of SAIChE IChemE regarding the new Department of Chemical Engineering that has been established at the University of Chester.

Hancock opened his presentation with a very interesting and vivid historical, geographical and economic description of Chester and its surrounds that lent good perspective and context to the ensuing topics. Chester is an ancient city founded in medieval time (around 1500) as a port city suited for trade and transportation; an importance that it retained even during the industrial revolution.

The Chester University Department of Chemical Engineering, Thornton Campus, is on the Shell (Petroleum and Lubricants) Research laboratories site, which was donated to the university. The faculty enjoys state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and lecture theatres. Last year the first group of students graduated from the uniquely structured curriculum that provides a practical industrial experience component throughout the course and hence prepares students for the ‘real world’ of work. This is orchestrated through the good liaison and co-operation of the department and the numerous surrounding industries that accommodate the students.

The programme and qualifications of the Chester University Chemical Engineering Department have been approved by IChemE and the department seeks to further enhance the programme through visits and exchange programmes with like institutions internationally, in order to build strategic partnerships. Hancock encouraged UCT and other chemical engineering departments in South Africa to participate in this outreach programme.

The next part of his presentation was on his own invention and patented “OxyGen” process, which uses electrolysis as an integral step. This process is an Integrated Generation Carbon Capture and one that sequestrates carbon emissions from fossil-fuel-based power generation plants.

Hancock also gave a comparative account of other such technologies, and presented predictions of consumption from other energy resources, such as renewables, different fossil fuels and nuclear and their various impacts, including their climate change implications.

Download and read the article in PDF format.

BANNER 8

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