Chemistry goes tech at NMMU

Herald Reporter

FORGET test tubes, Bunsen burners and pipettes because chemistry as you know it is changing.

And Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NNMU) is leading that change with its Downstream Chemical Technology Station InnoVenton and the recent establishment of a new national research chair in microfluidic bio/chemical processing.

The periodic table and knowledge of molecules and compounds remain unchanged but the means of adding value to the work of industry is being simplified and made safer through a new branch of chemistry, called flow chemistry.

Leading the change is British scientist Professor Paul Watts, who was attracted to NMMU and South Africa because of "the scope to make a difference" in industry-based research. Flow chemistry examines chemical reactions in a continuously flowing stream rather than the traditional batch production style.

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