is a developer and licensor of innovative technology - from concept to commercial utilisation. We have a key focus on the mining and industrial waste-water treatment sectors, with particular interest in technologies that link to plant nutrition.
From 2011 onward Trailblazer Technologies has been responsible for the conceptualisation and subsequent development of two main technologies namely:
The KNeW Process, which is a patented technology that allows the processing of high tds, saline and acidic wastewater, and brackish underground water into potable water and plant nutrition products. Unlike all other processes developed for such waste processing, (such as acid mines drainage)
The KNeW process does not result in any liquid waste, such as concentrated waste brines, that still require disposal or storage. The KNeW process is a final solution, leaving little or no by-product.
The KNeW process generates sufficient revenue from the plant-nutrition and potable water output to cover both the operating costs and capital investment, and either mitigates the cost of treatment or provide a handsome return on the capital invested, dependant on what is removed from the water.
The KNeW process can operate with high tds (total dissolved solids) waste streams up to 50 000 mg/ltr – well above those limits capable of being processed by alternative ion-exchange or reverse osmosis technologies.
The product water, after the use of the ZIX-Zak ion exchange process, exceeds the WHO specification for potable water and can be added to any water supply stream after chlorination and taste correction using activated carbon.
The KNeW technology has application in a wide range of industries from acid mine drainage to the processing of brackish groundwater into agricultural or potable water.
Other technologies that we specialize in are spray drying – both conventional and pulse combustion - and the production of specialty agricultural raw materials that require sophisticated low temperature oxidation.
The KNeW process has been patented in Africa, Australia, USA, Mexico, Canada and Europe and has been recognised as a breakthrough technology by the mining industry.
Trailblazer Technologies has completed a demonstration plant at its facility near Muldersdrift in order to further develop and improve its technology and to test actual polluted water in bulk amounts from source. We also have a further opportunity to establish an operating scale plant, to process waste output from the Columbus Stainless Steel plant in Middelburg using the KNeW Technology, which will produce 9000 tons per annum of fertilizer end-product.
The Trailblazer Technologies pilot facility
Pilot facility 1 - Continuously stirred reactors operating in a counter current configuration.
Pilot facility 2 - Multi port valve for regeneration of loaded ion exchange resins, and rinsing.
The patented ZIX-Zak Ion Exchange Process technology was conceptualized during the KNeW process pilot plant development, when it was recognised that the equilibrium status in the cation exchange reactors was inhibiting the removal of the mono valent sodium ions. The ZIX-Zak technology ensures the removal of nearly all tds, at no extra cost, without using any additional chemicals to achieve this end effect.
The Technology Innovation Agency
In 2018 TIA approved support funding for the building of an ion exchange demo plant to demonstrate the improvements that had been learnt from the experiences in running two previous pilot plants. The plant would also be used to attract potential customers to visit and test, before placing orders. So far, the plant has achieved all its goals and has operated successfully using actual mines effluent. With TIA’s backing, TBT has been able to build a world-class facility that will impress visitors from any country.
36 Steyn Road, corner Dorothy Road, Farm Rietvallei 180IQ district Krugersdorp 1739
(+27) 11 662-2116
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Trailblazer Technologies was established in 2006 by two partners, who had just exited from long and exalted careers in the plant nutrition industry. Alastair Forsyth had built a substantial business in Ocean Agriculture (Pty) Ltd over 30 years, which was then a leading speciality plant nutrition business in sub-Saharan Africa...
The KNeW process and Trailblazer Technologies have been awarded and recognised for the following:
The KNeW process was developed to solve the problem of removing dissolved cations and anions from acid mines drainage (AMD) so producing good quality water at an affordable cost for inland agriculture.
When the ion exchange plant is run sequentially i.e. first through all the catex CSTR’s and then through the anex CSTR’s the level of free H⁺ in the final catex CSTR is high enough to interfere with the absorption of sodium ions which stops all the Na⁺ being removed from the aqueous phase.