The annual Chemical Engineering project poster session, where final-year students present their work in poster format and explain their projects to academics and visitors, took place on Friday 27 November 2015.
An interesting project was a cost-effective homemade fire extinguisher suitable for combating shack fires. Desania Govender and Yandisa Sojola under the supervision of Professor Harro Von Blottnitz and Mr Arthur Mabentsela adopted the project from a Science Expo project. Desania said the idea came from a Science Expo project where two students; Kahn, J. & Firfirey, M. had produced a homemade fire extinguisher limited only to class A fires and without foaming capabilities. The foam they produced was not stable. Desania and Yandisa went on to produce a product which uses vinegar, water, sodium bicarbonate and dish-washing liquid for a foaming agent. This product can be used on Class A fire (ordinary com-bustibles such as wood and cardboard) and Class B fire (flammable liquids such as petrol and paraffin).
The overall cost of making the extinguisher is much less than commercial extinguishers; less than R11 vs. R150 for a commercial fire extin-guisher. They have produced a pamphlet which gives you steps on how to build your own extinguisher as well as what material you will need.
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