SASOLBURG, South Africa, Nov. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Sasol and General Electric
(NYSE: GE)'s GE Power & Water have together developed new water
technology that will clean waste water, while also providing biogas as
a by-product for power generation. This new technology, known as
Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor Technology (AnMBR), will be further
developed at a new demonstration plant at Sasol's R&D Campus at its
Sasol One Site in Sasolburg.
"This is another exciting technological innovation that will further
entrench our position as a world-leader in gas-to-liquids (GTL)
technology and synthetic fuels production. While sophisticated water
treatment technologies are already employed at Sasol's major
operations, this particular development will enhance our efficiency
even further," said Ernst Obersholster, Sasol Group Executive for
International Energy, New Business Development and Technology.
"GE is excited to be partnering with Sasol on this initiative that
further outlines our commitment to supporting the sustainable
development of South Africa with advanced infrastructure technologies,
services and solutions. This partnership demonstrates what the private
sector can achieve by working together for the benefit of growing the
economy and making the economy competitive," said Tim Schweikert
President and CEO for GE South Africa.
AnMBR involves anaerobic micro-organisms that are able to live in
environments devoid of oxygen, such as sediment layers on floors of
lakes, dams and the ocean. These organisms are almost ubiquitous -
found in the human digestive system, under the earth surface, deserts
and mountain peaks, to name a few.
Sasol currently uses aerobic microbes to treat GTL and coal-to-liquids
(CTL) effluents in ORYX GTL, Qatar and Synfuels, Secunda facilities.
One of the by-products from the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process is an
effluent stream rich in organic acids and alcohols. Traditional
(aerobic) treatment technologies treat this effluent by converting the
organics to carbon dioxide. The benefit of the AnMBR is that the
micro-organisms convert these organics into a methane rich bio-gas
which can then be used for power generation. This then results in an
overall efficiency improvement in the GTL process. By converting the
effluents to a valuable product (power) there is a resulting
improvement in the GTL value proposition. Another benefit of the AnMBR
is that it produces almost 80% less waste biosolids than the previous
The treatment of GTL derived effluents is complex and challenging. Sasol
pioneered the treatment of effluents from the GTL process in Ras
Laffan, Qatar, where effluents are treated and recycled for use as
irrigation water in the city of Ras Laffan.
Sasol's second generation offering, which is currently being designed
for the US GTL facility, is the aerobic Membrane Bioreactor (MBR). The
AnMBR helps maintain Sasol's leadership position in this field by
converting wastes into value-adding products.
Micro-organisms break down complex organics, such as proteins and
carbohydrates through a process called hydrolysis, to simpler building
blocks, such as sugars that provide food to the micro-organisms. The
waste produced is bio-gas, which can be used as feedstock to generate
"The organics in waste water generated from our operations have proven
to be the ideal food, or substrate, for Anaerobic micro-organisms,"
said Thulani Dlamini, Executive Manager Research and Development at
Sasol Technology. "We will now continue to explore and develop this
technology further with the potential for commercial application to our
future GTL facilities."
Sasol has been developing the technology for a number of years with
promising results. The partnership with GE is aimed at leveraging GE's
ecomagination qualified ZeeWeed 500 membrane and decades of membrane
bioreactor experience and Sasol's expertise in biological treatment of
FT derived effluents.
"The new AnMBR is one of the many solutions that can be developed in the
Petrochemical and Refining environment to benefit all other
industries," says Daniele Scenarelli, GE Account Executive for Sasol.
"This strategic partnership, which was signed in 2010, symbolizes a new
way of doing business between Customers and Suppliers. It is a
collaborative approach and a mutual commitment to technology
development and innovation aimed to accelerate the commercialization of
this new technology."
Bench scale test work has been on-going for the past year with promising
results and with the construction of a pilot plant at Sasol's R&D
facilities this improves the potential for commercialization of this
It is anticipated that the technology will be commercially ready early
in 2015. Sasol will have exclusive rights to apply this technology to
FT based plants whilst GE will have the right to market the technology
for other industrial uses.
Committed to excellence in all we do, Sasol is an international
integrated energy and chemical company that leverages the talent and
expertise of our more than 35 000 people working in 37 countries. We
develop and commercialise technologies, and build and operate
world-scale facilities to produce a range of product streams, including
liquid fuels, high-value chemicals and low-carbon electricity.
While remaining committed to our home-base of South Africa, Sasol is
expanding internationally based on a unique value proposition.
About GE Power & Water
GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power
generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve
their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the
energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar;
biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear
energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve
the world's most complex challenges related to water availability and
quality. Power & Water's six business units include Distributed Power,
Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services,
Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in
Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE's largest industrial business.
GE is an advanced technology, services and capital company with the
scale, resources and expertise to take on the world's toughest
challenges. Dedicated to innovation in the areas of energy, health,
transportation and infrastructure, GE is committed to leadership,
partnership and human progress.
GE has more than 300 000 employees globally, of which over 1 500 are in
Sub-Saharan Africa. GE is committed to growing its Africa leadership
base by investing in young leaders.
Forward-looking statements: Sasol may, in this document, make certain
statements that are not historical facts and relate to analyses and
other information which are based on forecasts of future results and
estimates of amounts not yet determinable. These statements may also
relate to our future prospects, developments and business strategies.
Examples of such forward-looking statements include, but are not
limited to, statements regarding exchange rate fluctuations, volume
growth, increases in market share, total shareholder return and cost
reductions. Words such as "believe", "anticipate", "expect", "intend",
"seek", "will", "plan", "could", "may", "endeavour" and "project" and
similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking
statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such
statements. By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve
inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and there
are risks that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other
forward-looking statements will not be achieved. If one or more of
these risks materialise, or should underlying assumptions prove
incorrect, our actual results may differ materially from those
anticipated. You should understand that a number of important factors
could cause actual results to differ materially from the plans,
objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in such
forward-looking statements. These factors are discussed more fully in
our most recent annual report under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
on Form 20-F filed on 9 October 2013 and in other filings with the
United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The list of factors
discussed therein is not exhaustive; when relying on forward-looking
statements to make investment decisions, you should carefully consider
both these factors and other uncertainties and events. Forward-looking
statements apply only as of the date on which they are made, and we do
not undertake any obligation to update or revise any of them, whether
as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE: Sasol and General Electric
For further information:
Alex Anderson, Group Media Manager
Direct telephone +27(11)441-3295; Mobile +27(0)71-600-9605;
Jacqui O'Sullivan, GM: Group Communication
Direct telephone +27(11)441-3252; Mobile +27(0)82-883-9697;
Communications Manager - Southern Africa
GE Corporate Africa
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