Dyllon RANDALL, PhD in Chemical Engineering (South Africa)

Dyllon is an accomplished South African Research Engineer and holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cape Town. His PhD focused on developing a brine treatment protocol using a novel technology called Eutectic Freeze Crystallization.

Current position: Senior Lecturer, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Research focus: Resource recovery from wastewater

Dr Randall has previously worked in consulting as a Process Engineer and on the “Re-invent the Toilet Challenge”, a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is focusing specifically on sustainable sanitation and recovery of valuable nutrients from waste streams.

The jury awarded Dyllon a Green Talent in 2011 due to the importance of his research, given that it is necessary to address water pollution and obtain better use per drop for an ever-rising water demand. The research stay in Germany also perked his interest in nutrient recovery research.

2018 World’s first bio-brick grown from urine
2018 IChemE Global Awards finalist in two categories: sustainability and research project
2018 Global Scalability Potential Award (UNLEASH 2018)
2018 First Prize in Clean Water & Sanitation (UNLEASH 2018)
2017 Greenovate Award for sustainable building solutions for the development of a fertiliser producing urinal
2017 World’s first fertiliser-producing urinal
2014 Falling Walls Young Innovator
2011 Second Place Winner at the Young Persons’ World Lecture Competition
2011 Award for Research Paper

CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2011):

University of Cape Town, South Africa

Research focus: Crystallization and Precipitation to Treat Waste Water

Dyllon Randall’s love for chemistry and his concern for the environment has shaped his career path significantly, and has led the South African to focus his work on the treatment of mine waste water.

Dyllon is a research officer at the University of Cape Town, investigating ways to process waste water in a sustainable manner. Specifically, Dr Randall is developing methods to treat waste water through crystallization and precipitation. Parts of his work are done in cooperation with the private sector, including companies such as Anglo Coal and Impala Platinum.

During his doctoral work, Dr Randall made contributions to his field which had not yet been achieved before, such as successfully developing a brine treatment protocol using a novel technology called Eutectic Freeze Crystallization. His work is now being used as the basis for further research in this field at the Crystallization and Precipitation Unit at the University of Cape Town, where he earned his PhD in 2010.

In November 2011, Dr Randall presented this new technology for treating brines at the International Conference on Desalination and Environment. He also published a paper in the journal Desalination that won an award for Research Paper of the Year 2011 at the South African Institute of Chemical Awards ceremony. The paper was entitled "A Case Study for Treating a Reverse Osmosis Brine Using Eutectic Freeze Crystallization – Approaching a Zero-Waste Process". In addition, he was a runnerup at the 2011 Young Persons' World Lecture Competition held in Brazil this year.

The jury cited Dr Randall's work for being highly promising, given that waste water treatment is one of the main issues to be resolved if our planet is to be safeguarded for up to ten billion people by the middle of this century. It is necessary to effectively address widespread water pollution, but it is equally necessary to close the water cycle and obtain better use per drop for an ever-rising demand on the part of different users. In this respect, his work is critical for emphasising the pioneering role of sustainable water governance in South Africa, the jury said.

Dr Randall would like to learn about other technologies for waste water treatment during his stay in Germany: "I feel that there is no single solution to the problems associated with waste water, and that it is only through a combination of technologies that a truly sustainable water treatment method can be achieved."