Year partnered with Savant: 2017
Sector:  Water Treatment
Application: Water Treatment
Product: Chemical treatment of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD)
Market Size: (Local) ZAR 1 billion (Global) USD 1 billion
Differentiation: Patented waste water treatment process converting effluent into potable water and commercially saleable products on a cost neutral basis
Investment Stage:  Pre-Seed
Stage: Venture and Grow locally
Founding Team: Alastair Forsyth, John Bewsey, James Cockburn, Eduard Hanekom

Trailblazer Technologies (Pty) Ltd is a technology based company focused on developing and implementing commercially viable technologies for the chemical treatment of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and other industrial effluents based on its proprietary KNeW and ancillary processes – the ZIX-Zak ion-exchange solution and a nitric acid plant.

In line with this focus, the IP has been protected (patented) in South Africa and other major global markets with significant mining and industrial operations as well as countries having a prevalence of brackish groundwater, e.g. the US. Because Trailblazer is a Technology company that derives its income from licensing its technology, the approach is an aggressive IP management strategy, aiming to enforce its IP rights and preventing would-be infringers through legal means.

Value Proposition

Mining and industrial processing plants produce wastewater with often high total dissolved solid (TDS) levels. This presents a significant environmental challenge and requires treatment before being reintroduced into the freshwater supply or reused in process. Incumbent water treatment solutions typically follow two broad approaches – either evaporation or filter based, which typically leaves a nasty brine.

These competing options are costly to install and operate and require disposal of the hazardous elements that remain. Industrial wastewater however is not without value. The Trailblazer processes converts effluent water into clean potable water and commercially saleable plant nutrition products, eliminating all waste, and does so in a commercially viable manner, unlike other competing solutions.


Alastair Forsyth

Alastair Forsyth has 30+ years in the fertilizer industry.

John Bewsey

The inventor, John Bewsey (Pr Nat Sci) is a chemical engineer with 50+ years’ experience in chemical processing and water treatment industries.

James Cockburn

James Cockburn is a qualified CA with 25 years of senior management experience, partly in the fertilizer industry. The collective has a cumulative 105 years senior management and fertilizer industry experience.

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