JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Innovative Proudly South African membraneless technology has caught the eye of the engineers involved in the huge global ITER fusion project as a possible solution to recover tritium from tritiated water.
The membraneless technology is the brainchild of Hydrox Holdings engineers, based in Strydompark, Randburg, who have patented homegrown divergent electrode flow through (DEFT ™) technology.
ITER is the world’s biggest experiment on the path to fusion energy and tritium is a rare and extremely expensive isotope at $30 000 per gram. It plays an important role in the fusion process, which is seen as a new clean energy pathway.
Tritiated water, or HTO, is formed when a tritium atom replaces a hydrogen atom in water while retaining water’s chemical properties.
“Large scale electrolysis of the tritiated water through standard electrolysers is not delivering the required results and hence the request to assist them by utilising our unique technology,” Hydrox CEO Corrie de Jager tells Mining Weekly.
“This novel application of our DEFT process is a huge step forward in realising the true potential of our technology and it creates the opportunity to assist Japan in averting an environmental disaster at Fukushima by capturing tritium from the large volumes of contaminated water that need to be released into the ocean.
“It’s indeed a huge honour for our company, our country and our continent that we can play a meaningful role in unlocking the future energy source of the world,” says De Jager.
DEFT, which is already a recipient of South Africa’s National Science and Technology Forum Award for Innovation, last year won top recognition in Monaco at the principality’s inaugural hydrogen forum.
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