Most Read

  • Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko to step down
    Telkom has announced that its CEO and executive director Sipho Maseko will step down on 30 June 2022. The telecoms company said the process to appoint a successor is well underway and a designated group CEO will be announced in the not too distant future.
  • How cooking oil brought a moment of joy during a dreadful week
    It is possible that cooking oil prevented more looting in South Africa in the last week than the president, the ANC, the intelligence community, the army and the police combined. This, without question, says something about the versatility of the product. It says even more about the state of the state. When you are shown up by canola, you might want to revisit your strategy. By Howard Feldman
  • Park Advertising launches digital performance unit, Lucid Media
    Performance Media across Search, Social and Programmatic platforms is the single fastest growing area of digital media in South Africa. Combine that with the detailed analysis of campaign management, tagging and ad operations, and it becomes apparent that these highly specialist functions require a highly specialised unit.
  • Transnet hit by cyberattack - Operations disrupted nationwide
    The Transnet Port Terminals website has been hacked, implying that all companies under Transnet have been affected. All Transnet websites were down at the time when reporting was done for this SA Trucker article. The publication cited sources who requested to remain anonymous because they are not allowed to speak to the media.
  • #BehindtheBrandManager: Meet Tamsin Darroch of Kellogg's South Africa
    Few food brands have the historical connection with consumers around the world as Kellogg's does, having held meaning at the breakfast table for over a century. By Lauren Hartzenberg
  • Business unusual for small enterprises on the road to recovery
    The Covid-19 pandemic has hit South Africa's small business sector hard and there are grim statistics to bear this out. Those statistics will not be repeated here. After all, if you are a small business owner setting out on the road to recovery, the last thing you probably want is more details of the toll the pandemic has taken on small enterprises. Far more useful would be some good, solid tips on how to build back better after any business setbacks. By Ameen Hassen
Show more

NWU harnesses ozone technology as cost-effective Covid-19 combatant

The North-West University's (NWU) researchers and innovators are working towards solutions to effectively destroy viruses, bacteria and fungi, including the coronavirus, on a large scale. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage, fast-working, low-cost disinfection solutions are essential in tackling the crisis. The NWU has taken up this challenge by revisiting a patent that was filed years ago for producing ozone.
The ozone generator holds promise in safeguarding public spaces for health purposes.

The result is a newly designed and updated ozone generator – which can be used to treat water and fresh produce can also disinfect areas and surfaces. This can have a meaningful impact in safeguarding public spaces such as universities, schools, hospitals, clinics, libraries and even public transport.

The new ozone generator design is inspired by an NWU patent. According to FR Bezuidenhout, commercialisation specialist of the NWU’s Technology Transfer and Innovation Support Office, the existing NWU patent for producing ozone is the original invention of Barend Visser, physics inventor in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. When compared to other products currently on the market, the technology is very economical.

The project is likely to have a long-term impact, says Dr Emile Kotzé, head of the Health Clinic on the Potchefstroom Campus, who is contributing health expertise to the ozone generator project. “The need for this equipment will not end with the pandemic but will continue for years to come as we will also have to address future health needs in South Africa. This is a good cost-effective and viable alternative for cleaning public surfaces, buildings and areas,” says Dr Kotzé, a medical doctor.

The ozone project is also valuable in research terms, he says. “We learn new information as we are working on the project. A lot of important research has already been done and new research will follow as we go along.”

University collaboration reaches promising Covid-19 vaccine results

Walter Sisulu University (WSU) and the North-West University (NWU) jointly announced "very promising first results" from preclinical trials on a new Covid-19 vaccine candidate on Tuesday, 8 June...

Issued by North-West University (NWU) 10 Jun 2021


Multidisciplinary team pulls together

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the NWU assembled a team to investigate how to appropriate existing technologies towards solutions for the pandemic, according to FR. “We realised that Barend’s invention holds a lot of untapped potential. We believe that this exciting technology will also be used long after the pandemic in addressing other health challenges such as tuberculosis.”

The new ozone generator combines capable sensors with generation technology to create a smart sensing product that is able to automatically control the amount of ozone generated and deployed in a specific area, says FR. “We believe this could be a long-term cost-effective disinfection solution for all industries.”

The newly updated design is four times more effective in terms of ozone yield, he says. It can also be produced much more cost-effectively than the original version. “The team put a lot of work into updating and testing the ozone generator. It was a mammoth task that employed the expertise of various roleplayers, departments and faculties of the university. It was inspiring to see how everyone’s dedication contributed in realising the innovation and potential impact of the project.”

This truly multidisciplinary project involved many staff members and stakeholders, from the Technology Transfer and Innovation Support Office and the NWU Health Clinic to staff and students in computer and electronic engineering at the Faculty of Engineering, occupational health and safety experts from the Faculty of Health Sciences, the NWU’s financial staff and management across all the various testing sites.

Ozone generators now in further testing phases

The testing of an initial 10 ozone generator prototypes had already started in August 2020. These units were extensively tested in different-sized rooms to determine the amount of ozone they were able to emit.

FR says they have now produced an additional 200 demo units after concluding the testing of the prototypes. “Our goal is to place them within operational environments while at the same time continuing with the tests. We had to plan carefully as all tests have to be performed while there are no people present in the testing areas.”

The testing sites include the NWU Health Clinic and the Ferdinand Postma Library on the Potchefstroom Campus.

“The development is ongoing and we are currently investigating an even higher yield generator for which we have employed the talents and expertise of a final-year engineering student, Izak Adendorff, to design our very own sensor technology that will be able to measure ozone in real time.”

FR says when all testing is completed they aim to produce units for further deployment on the NWU’s campuses and thereafter go into full commercial production.

North-West University  (NWU)
The North-West University (NWU) is one of South Africa's top five universities; that offers superior academic excellence, cutting-edge research and innovation and teaching and learning. It all starts here.
Comment

Let's do Biz