top of page

South Africa Student Showcase

Pneudrive Challenge 2013

Winner: Best Use of Autodesk Design Technology

University of Witwatersrand

Dust Emission


Team: Suhail Akoojee, Zahraa Goolam-Hussain, Riaaz Mangera, Taahirah Mangera


This report details three solution concepts which aim to promote “Greener Mining” by addressing dust emissions occurring in conveying rooms. The device is required to reduce the dust concentration of an average conveying room from 500 mg/m 3 to 50 mg/m3 as outlined by the National Air Quality Act, 2004. [1] The solutions considered a Dust Bag Filtration System, a Sprinkling Settling Chamber System, and, a Water Suction Air

Filtration System


A critical analysis of the solution concepts in terms of the Product Requirement Specification revealed the Water Suction Air Filtration System as most likely to meet to the problem criterion. The device is remotely controlled and requires no man power for operation. The use of water filtration medium helps reduce costs of filter replacements. By capturing the dust within water, through de-watering or other processes, the water and valuable forms of dust such as coal dust can be recycled. Completion of the system subcomponent analyses allowed specifications of the subcomponents to be made. Finally, these specifications were critically analysed in order to indicate areas which may impact the design and further possible improvements to the solution. Full design specifications can be

found in the Design Proposal and Breakdown. A scaled model prototype was developed in order to examine the viability of the fundamental concept

of the system. Results found using a Particle Image Velocimetry system revealed the concept to be capable of fulfilling its aim of capturing stray dust.



Pneudrive Challenge 2013

Overall Third-Prize Winner and Runner-Up: Best Use of Autodesk Design Technology

University of Witwatersrand

Water Recycling Solar Still-Sicarius

Team: Gregory Behrens, Travis Bennett, Paul Hon, T.K. Wyszkowski-Korwin


This report focuses around water recycling in mining operations, specifically the water losses in tailings dams. Numerous designs are considered which extract water from slurry-tailings. The final design implements a solar still, named the Sicarius, to evaporate and collect water from the surface of tailings dams and pump the water back to the mine for re-use. The solar still stays on the surface of the slurry dam by using Pneumax Imperial Mine Cylinders to model the motion of a spider. Water is returned to the mining operation by a vacuum Pump powered by an SEW DR series AC motor. The final design calls for a vast network of stills to be implemented. With each still saving 500ml of water per day by environmentally friendly means.


Unique Features


  • Uses solar energy to reduce water losses on a tailings dam


  • Operates on Daywall-Nightpan tailings dam without affecting operating procedures.


  • Low operating costs.


  • Completely unique idea to the mining industry

  • Pneumatic Driven Legs raise still as slurry is deposited

  • Pump driven system used to drain distilled water


bottom of page