Swayana’s current flagship project involves the manufacture of ethanol from industrial waste gas. This project is centered around the use of technologically advanced microbial fermentation of a carbon monoxide rich gas generated within a large ferroalloy smelting complex in Mpumalanga, South Africa. The microbial fermentation technology is proprietary to North American firm LanzaTech. Conceptualization of this work commenced in 2014 and was traded off against other “green” utilization projects for the waste. A pre-feasibility study for the gas to ethanol project was concluded in 2017 and is entering into the basic engineering phase. Swayana aims to complete construction by the end of 2019 and ramp up to full scale production in 2020. Ethanol production volume will be ~60 million litres per year sold into the green fuels market.
Swayana is confident that the company will roll out the flagship project and be driven by the extensive need for industrialization in South Africa. Swayana has competencies in assessing over 35 uses for various gas streams. By developing both a database of knowledge and enhancing gas measurement programs Swayana is exploring gas rights to develop the value chain using the best fit technology. Initial assessments revealed untapped gas volumes that could generate in excess of 400 000 tonnes of ethanol generation.
A high grade undenatured non-potable ethanol acts as a precursor to multiple hydrocarbon opportunities. One of which is ethylene, used in PET and jet fuel. SAInvest of the dti has an industry driven working group that aligns South African IPAP (Industrial Policy Action Plan) priorities with businesses that will promote medium- to long-term employment opportunities. Swayana has partnered with both the dti and industrial partners to develop the value chain into green PET production.
With an ageing global population and increasing demands on consumer products waste generation has increased to uncontrollable levels. Multiple programmes exist within Sub-Saharan Africa where tax revenues are collected for disbursement into recycling programmes in order to curb the environmental dilemma. Incineration and gasification are age old technologies that produce low value, toxic streams at a high capital and energy cost. Swayana has partnered with Thermtron Scientific, with generations of experience in gasification and knowledge in emerging technologies, to establish economically viable designs that can be taken to the market.
Research and development being undertaken by LanzaTech, who are a leading biotechnology development, will enable Swayana to manufacture as many as 23 different chemicals using the same microbial fermentation technology platform. Whilst gas mining rights and construction projects are underway the team is continuously exploring