HARNESSING SOLAR POWER FOR A GREENER SOUTH AFRICA

HARNESSING SOLAR POWER FOR A GREENER SOUTH AFRICA

Dr Wayne Nelson, a Chemical Engineering student who received his PhD this April, will certainly have the attention of the energy industry’s research and development divisions. His research investigated a separation process that will make it easier to obtain a product needed to produce a high-grade trichlorosilane.

Nelson, who completed his undergraduate and Masters degrees at UKZN, said that globally environmentally friendly and socially acceptable energy supplying alternatives are becoming increasingly valuable. In terms of South Africa’s future energy mix, nuclear energy and renewable energy are being identified to play more prominent roles. With this in mind, a consortium consisting of Necsa (South African Nuclear Energy Corporation), Thermtron Holdings, Pelchem (Pelindaba Chemicals) and Setsolar has proposed to develop a novel process to produce cost-competitive, high-purity and high-value chemical products for niche markets in the solar, semiconductor and nuclear industry of South Africa. Nelson’s research focused on the production of polysilicone for this process.

Nelson is currently working as an Academic and esearcher with the Thermodynamics Research Unit at UKZN’s School of Engineering.


author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za