Malcolm Simpson graduated in Chemical Engineering in 1979 from the University of Natal/KZN. During the 1980’s he worked, with other specialists, on the development and commersialisation of four technologies
1). Activated carbon fibre for the recovery of gold cyanide from gold rich solutions. The main advantage of activated carbon fibre over activated carbon granules was very must faster absorption kinetics of gold cyanide. The faster kinetics would have reduced the capital cost of the gold recovery plant significantly. Unfortunately the engineering to install the “fibre unit operation” into the recovery plant proved complex and the technology was not commercialised.
2). Zirconium/poly-acrylate dynamic membranes on porous stainless tubes. This technology was commercialized as a unit operation in the recovery of water from industrial effluents. Membranes could be cleaned and replaced by solution chemistry when fouled giving an advantage over fixed membrane unit operations.
3). Woven fabric cross-flow micro-filter for the pretreatment of industrial effluents to remove suspended solids before exposure to membrane water recovery technologies. This technology was commercialized.
4). Recovery of lignin and hemi-cellulose products from wood pulp mill effluents. A commercial operation has been installed at a South African pulp mill which is one of the world’s largest producer of lignin products.
In the 1990’s Malcolm changed course from technology development to consultancy and took up a position in London. As a result of the “Fall of the Wall” he took the opportunity to work on a number of interesting government and private sector reform assignments in the Commonwealth of Independent States (Russia, Armenia, Ukraine) and Central Europe (Poland and Hungary).
In 2003 he returned to South Africa and took up a position at the National Treasury. In 2006 Malcolm was appointed Deputy Director General responsible for the roll out of the infrastructure required for successful delivery of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
After completion of the “World Cup Project” and until September 2015 he held a position in the private sector to work on the recovery of titanium dioxide pigment from titanium rich furnace slag. Commercialisation is progressing with a company close to completing a bankable feasibility study. If financing is successful a 50,000 t/a pigment plant will be installed in South Africa.
Malcolm now works for the Industrial Development Corporation.