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Timeline with major projects in which the Thermtron team was involved.

Design, build, commission and operate a turnkey pilot facility (Unit 83) for the production of pure carbon from calcined coke, using plasma technology at 2 500 ˚C for Sasol Carbo-Tar.  Register a patent for the process.

1997-2000

Pure carbon from calcined coke

Design, build and operate a pilot facility for the Innovation Fund to distil TiCl4 and to produce 10 kg/h nano TiO2 by applying plasma technology. In 2010, the project team was awarded with the SAIChe innovation award for titanium dioxide production using plasma technology.

2003-2005

Plasma nano TiO2

Supply a turnkey 5 kg batch facility for the tri-isotopic chemical vapour deposition (TRISO CVD) coating of uranium oxide as part of the Pebble Bed Modular Nuclear Reactor (PBMR®) programme. The facility can run at least one batch every 12 hours. This facility includes the coater reactor, feed systems, handling of nano-particles in the off-gas, water supply, 100 kW DC power supply, all instrumentation, control and electric supply and fire control system. The supply includes basic design, HAZOP, detail design of all equipment, instrumentation and electric systems, preparation of licencing documentation for the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR), manufacturing, construction, cold and warm commissioning and training.

2003-2005

Uranium oxide coating facility

Design a 15 bar(g) high-pressure cold finger, membrane and pressure swing absorption system to remove volatile carbonaceous matters (VCM's), water and CO2 from 2 500 Nm3/h landfill site gas. The design is done according to the European codes of PED and CE. Manufacture the pressure vessels in-house and construct the plant on skids inside containers before exporting it to the UK.

2005-2006

Landfill site gas purification

Design, construct and commission a 300 kW output radiofrequency power supply for the drying of coal as a THRIP project with Exxaro. This includes a high voltage (15 kV) direct current power supply (500 kW AC supply), radiofrequency converter, utilities supply and a materials handling batch system.

2007-2008

Coal drying with RF

Bankable feasibility study for niobium/tantalum mine in Malawi which includes mine design, electrical supply, extractive metallurgy using HF, smelting, EIA, commercial and legal management (International client).

2009-2010

Feasibility study of Nb/Ta mine

Conceptualization study of a high temperature nuclear experimental reactor for peaceful applications, e.g. research of desalination and medical isotopes (International client).

2013-2014

Nuclear research reactor

Project and contract management of the detail design, build, commissioning and operation of a 28Si plant with application in photovoltaic (PV) enhancement (International client).

2015-Current

28Si mini plant

Pre-feasibility study of a CO off-gas to ethanol plant for Swayana (Pty) Ltd using LanzaTech technology. The study includes process-, mechanical-, electrical and instrumentation and civil design and commercial and legal management.

2016-2017

CO off-gas to ethanol

Thermtron Scientific CC, a scientific development and industrialisation organisation, is established.

1995

Established Thermtron Scientific CC

An extended basic design of a 30 000 tons per annum coke purification plant is done for Metso Minerals/Sastech.   This plant includes the storage, screening and conveying of calcined coke, treatment at 2 500 °C with plasma technology, cooling, bagging and storage. Design includes process, electrical, instrumentation, materials handling, plasma reactor design and mechanical design.

2001-2003

Coke purification

Design, manufacture and commission a plant for the high temperature decomposition of zircon to plasma dissociated zirconia for the Innovation Fund. It includes the design, manufacture and commissioning of a V-type plasma torch and power supply.

2005-2008

Plasma dissociated Zirconia

Concept development of a process for the conversion of zircon into high value zirconium chemicals. Laboratory development and engineering design and costing were done for Exxaro on a 10 000 tons per annum plant.

2004

High temperature conversion of zircon

Concept, basic and detail design of a demonstration plant consisting of three by 5 kg tri-isotropic chemical vapour deposition (TRISO CVD) coating facility as part of the Pebble Bed Modular Nuclear Reactor (PBMR®) programme. This design includes process, mechanical, instrumentation and electrical designs as well as costing (± 10%).  3D layouts and manufacturing drawings of more than 30 pieces of equipment are delivered as part of the engineering package.  The design contains more than 3 000 IO’s.

2006-2008

CVD coating demonstration facility

Pre-feasibility study, concept and basic engineering of a high temperature barium sulphate conversion plant for Western Utilities Corporation.

2009

Barium sulphate conversion

Design, build and commission a plasma nano SiO2 plant (International client).

2010-2011

Plasma nano SiO2

Project and contract management of the basic design of a 28Si mini plant, with investigation of application to photovoltaic (PV) enhancement (International client).

2014-2015

Basic design of 28Si mini plant

Project and contract management of the basic and detail design of a Molybdenum to 99Tc conversion technology plant, including isotope enrichment and cyclotron specifications (International client).

2016-2017

Medical isotopes

Project management and owner’s engineer of 5 tonnes per day municipal solid waste to energy plant using plasma technology.  Services include preparation of request for quotations (RFQ’s), tender evaluation, selection of sub-contractors as well as contract negotiation and finalisation (International client).

2017

Waste to energy

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