Waste Valorisation

It is well-known by now that what has traditionally been considered “waste” presents a greatly underutilized resource. Wastewater, for example, while unfit for human consumption or agricultural use, is rich in valuable nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates, just as electronic circuit boards contain significant quantities of valuable metals.

The complexity of the challenge demands an interdisciplinary solution; the process engineer’s focus on the conversion of raw materials to high-value products places them firmly at the centre of this global initiative.

The successful valorisation of various wastes will allow us to close the loop in the circular economy, moving us closer to a truly sustainable future.

Key challenges in the field include separation and concentration of valuable products as well as functionalization of relatively inert chemicals.

There are three main research thrusts in the Waste Valorisation group:
1. Waste tyre conversion to high-value chemicals
2. Electronic waste processing for metal recovery (lithium, gold, copper)
3. Biological waste utilization (e.g. wastewater, agricultural residues, fishery waste, etc.)

The researchers listed below all form part of the Waste Valorisation group. Follow the link to their individual profiles to find out more about their research interests and activities.

Prof Guven Akdogan
Dr Annie Chimphango
Senior Lecturer
Prof Christie Dorfling
Associate Professor
Dr Neill Goosen
Senior Lecturer
Dr Tobie Louw
Senior Lecturer
Dr Robbie Pott
Senior Lecturer
Prof Cara Schwarz