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Master of Science
Applied Science, Faculty of
Chemical and Biological Engineering, Department of
Pollution control regulations directed at the land-based factories of the Southern African fish processing industry do not appear to promote the required level of investment in pollution control systems. Two self-administered mail-questionnaires comprising undisguised fixed-alternative and open-ended questions were constructed to survey the opinions and viewpoints of a census consisting of twenty-seven senior managers responsible for making pollution control investments in the demersal and pelagic sectors of the fish processing industry. The first questionnaire was directed at establishing the relative importance of factors that influence waste and pollution control investment decisions as well as the perceptions and preferences of managers with regard to various pollution control policy options. Descriptive statistics such as the modal class were used to summarize the distribution of opinions and viewpoints within the research population. Rank ordered preference data was analyzed using a multidimensional unfolding computer algorithm. This structural multivariate statistical method is a special case of non-metric multidimensional scaling that generates perceptual maps which can aid in the discovery of the hidden structure underlying multidimensional decisions. Investments in waste and pollution control do not appear to have a high priority when compared to other strategic investments that the fish processing industry managers may make. The relative importance of factors that could influence the managers of the industry to invest in waste control equipment appear to be determined by the perceived financial returns that can be expected from such investments. Findings suggest that pollution control legislation is rendered ineffective due to inadequate enforcement. However, it appears that existing legislation needs to be rationalized in order to facilitate compliance. The most favoured pollution control instruments were those that lowered the cost of legally mandated expenses such as subsidies and income tax allowances. These were followed by permit systems which specified the allowable characteristics of discharges while allowing individual companies freedom of choice as to the method of achieving compliance. The second questionnaire was used to verify the researcher's interpretation of the findings and preliminary conclusions drawn from the replies to the first questionnaire.
The production of biodiesel is an energy and water intensive process. The wastewater that is produced during this process is high in concentrations of COD, BOD, FOG and various other contaminants. Since it contains low levels of nutrients, it is difficult to degrade using natural processes such as conventional activated sludge wastewater treatment. The discharge of untreated biodiesel wastewater also raises serious environmental concern. It interferes when remediated with biological processes and results in additional costs during the production of biodiesel when penalties and fines are applied. Conventional treatment processes are not capable of treating contaminants and pollutants in biodiesel to satisfactory concentrations and hence advanced treatment processes are necessary. In this research, a lab scale integrated treatment process was used to investigate the successful reduction of contaminants, in particular COD, BOD and FOG. The integrated treatment process used in this study consisted of three consecutive steps; acidification, electrochemical oxidation and adsorption using chitosan as an adsorbent. The electrochemical oxidation process with IrO2-Ta2O5/Ti anodes was applied to treat biodiesel wastewater. Different operating conditions were tested to establish favourable conditions. The current density applied as well as the concentration of NaCl as the supporting electrolyte greatly affected the process. A NaCl concentration of 0.08M was deemed sufficient, whereas a current density of 1 mA/cm² showed superior performance compared to lower or higher current densities. Adsorption of pollutants in biodiesel wastewater was investigated using Chitosan as the adsorbent. Various chitosan concentrations, initial pH of the wastewater and repetitive adsorption stages were investigated. It was discovered that all three operating conditions greatly affect the performance of the process. The three consecutive adsorption stages using a chitosan concentration of 4.5 g/L at a pH of 2 resulted in the highest pollutant removal. It was observed that the integrated treatment process could reduce COD, BOD and FOG levels by 94%, 86% and 95% respectively. This concludes that the treated effluent complies with local industrial effluent discharge standards, which could be disposed safely without further treatment.
Master of Engineering (Hons)
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: There is increasing pressure on factories and government to practise cleaner technology. The public is becoming more and more environmentally aware and external pressure from international competitors is also forcing companies to adopt environmentally sound production practices. Our natural resources and the environment need environmentally friendly practices. Waste minimisation is not only prudent practice for manufacturing industries, but is also an integral part of environmental regulations in many countries, including South Africa. This research seeks to investigate the extent and potential for industrial waste minimisation in Stellenbosch. The objectives of this thesis are, firstly to establish and evaluate the present range and extent of industrial solid waste minimisation practices; secondly to identify and evaluate potential industrial solid waste minimisation measures that could (if necessary) be instituted in future; and finally to propose a general strategy for the minimisation of industrial solid waste in Stellenbosch. The findings reflect that currently there is little waste minimisation awareness and practice in Stellenbosch. The most common method of waste minimisation currently practised by industries is recycling through the selling of recyclables. The least common method is the equipment-related change method, due to the high costs involved in adopting this method. Based on the findings, a suitable regional waste management strategy was developed and this strategy could possibly be adopted elsewhere in South Africa. Key words: waste minimisation, waste management, re-use, recycling, factory, environment, practice, participation, cleaner technology, awareness, Stellenbosch
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Daar is toenemende druk op fabrieke sowel as op die regering om skoner tegnologie te beoefen. Die publiek raak ook toenemend meer omgewingsbewus en druk vanaf die kant van internasionale mededingers forseer maatskappye om praktyke in te stel wat gunstig is ten optigte van die omgewing. Ons natuurlike hulpbronne en die omgewing benodig omgewingsvriendelike vervaardigingspraktyke. Die beperking van afvalstowwe is nie net vir die fabriekswese 'n wyse praktyk nie, maar maak ook in vele lande, met inbegrip van Suid-Afrika, 'n integrale deel uit van regulasies met betrekking tot die omgewing. Hierdie navorsingsprojek poog om die omvang en potensiaal van beperking van afvalstowwe in Stellenbosch te ondersoek. Die doelwitte van die ondersoek is eertens om ondersoek in te stel na die huidige reikwydte en omvang van praktyke om vaste industriële afvalstowwe te beperk en dit te evalueer; tweedens om potensiële industriële vaste afvalstofbeperkingsmaatreëls wat, indien nodig, in die toekoms ingestel sou kon word, te indentifiseer en te evalueer; en dan uiteindelik 'n algemene strategie vir die beperking van vaste industriële afvalstowwe in Stellenbosch voor te stel. Die bevindings in hierdie tesis bewys dat daar tans gennge bewustheid van die noodaaklikheid van afvalstofbeperking in Stellenbosch is en dat dit ewe min in die praktyk toegepas word. Die mees algemene vorm van beperking van afvalstowwe in die fabriekswese is deur middel van verkoop van herwinbare afvalstowwe. Die mins algemene vorm van beperking van afvalstowwe hou verband met die vervanging van toerusting. Die rede hiervoor het te doen met die koste verbonde aan die strategie. Vanuit hierdie bevindings is toepaslike strategie vir die bestuur van afvalstowwe op streeksvlak ontwikkel. Hierdie strategie sou moontlik ook elders in Suid-Afrika toegepas kon word. Sleutelwoorde: beperking van afvalstowwe, afvalstofbestuur, hergebruik, herwinning, fabriek, omgewing, praktyk, deelname, skoner tegnologie, bewustheid, Stellenbosch
The waste management that is taking place in the Breede Valley district focus mainly on disposal and end-of-pipe solutions. This approach resulted in serious negative impacts on the environment and human health. Improper waste management practices have become a major source of concern due to the risk associated with poor waste management in the area. Indiscriminate dumping of waste at street corners is very common. The basic waste management processes of collection, transport, segregation and [mal disposal appear to be very inefficient and inadequate. The objective of this study was to determine the composition of the waste stream as well as public awareness, attitudes and behaviours towards current and alternative waste management practices. A waste assessment study was conducted to determine the amount of waste generated by the different communities, as well as how much and what of the recyclables can be taken out of the waste stream by recycling. For this study data was obtained by formulation of questionnaires for businesses, communities and medical practitioners, as well as an interview with the Engineering Department of the Breede Valley Municipality about the current waste management situation in the area. From the data obtain from businesses, communities and medical facilities, it is clear that public participation, partnership, education and awareness is essential for effective integrated waste management. This study revealed that waste management practices are inefficient, uncontrolled and fragmented. This investigation shows that there is a huge difference between the different communities in terms of the volume of waste generation. The study also shows that waste related legislation is outdated and fragmented and there is no enforcement by municipal officials. The major Issues and challenges that affect the management of waste. include its organisational structure and lack of waste minimisation plans.
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