Water Purification with Magnetic Separation

Magnaclear 1
Magnaclear 2


  • Industrial Wastewater – Mines, Factories
  • Municipal Wastewater – Sewage, other
  • Drinking Water – Clarification process
  • Recycle Process Water – Factories, Mines,
  • Cooling water – Power Stations, Paper, etc.
  • Food processing plants
  • Cleaning boats, dairies, pig farms, chicken farms, abattoirs, etc.



  • South Africa is in a water crisis and one way to alleviate that is to re-use water or to desalinate sea water
  • Re-used water needs to be purified/treated before it can be placed back into the rivers or used as potable water for human consumption
  • Sea water has a lot of impurities to be removed as part of the process
  • Traditional water treatment methods are expensive (capex and opex)


  • MagnaClear (PTY) LTD has in-depth knowledge of mechanical- and chemical process engineering applications in the water treatment field. We are proud to contribute to a cleaner environment with our South African designed system and in-house capabilities.
  • We developed a revolutionary water treatment process that works with magnetic ballast technology to efficiently remove solids and fine particles from water. MagnaClear Technology can provide rapidly available, affordable, and reliable water treatment systems for use in both modern as well as unsophisticated environments.


Magnaclear can be added to existing water treatment systems to increase performance or as a new system working on its own.

In either case, it can meet tight discharge limits at low cost

  • A unit can be custom designed and manufactured to treat up to 5 ML/day
  • The Modular design allow for additional units to be added when needed to increase volume
  • Road transportable (on skids or in standard shipping containers)
  • Factory tested (for quality control and surety of supply) before installing at remote sites
  • Limited operator interaction (semi-automated)
  • Components locally supplied and supported in South Africa

Typical Reactor tank for a 5 ML per day unit

Magnetic Ballast Purification
 Process overview

  • Polluted water with high turbidity flows into a reaction tank
  • Magnetite is dosed in the tank
  • Standard water treatment polymers are used to flocculate the polluted water containing the magnetite
  • After mixing, the formed flocs (containing the magnetite and impurities) are removed from the water by means of magnets, leaving clean water in the separation tank
  • In a follow-up step, the magnetite is separated from the pollutant particles
  • The magnetite is recycled to the reactor, while a waste stream containing the impurities is discharged
  • The treated water is decanted.

Biological Water Treatment Process

  • Blends/mixes magnetite with return sludge (mixed liquor) and fed into aeration tank
  • To magnetic clarifier to separate solids and water
  • Result – thickened sludge
  • Majority of sludge is fed back to aeration tank
  • Portion of Waste is pumped through in-line shear and separated
  • Magnetite is recovered and pumped to aeration tank
  • Excess biological solids are wasted and handled by traditional methods

Magnetic Ballast Purification
 Process overview p1

The incoming water (Influent) is received in a reaction tank which is elevated in order to allow a gravity flow to the next process. A coagulant/adsorbent is dosed into a static mixer on the incoming feed line. The water is rapidly mixed with the additive.

Coagulation and Pre-Treatment Process

A coagulant is used to enhance the rate of floc formation. This step initiates the aggregation process. The coagulant attaches onto the pollutant particles and causes them to combine and form larger particles that coagulate. By adjusting the chemistry of the water the solution can also be destabilized by reducing the net surface charge. The net surface charge of the incoming water must be determined, and the appropriate coagulant specified.

The concentration of coagulant/adsorbent dosed into the water varies and is a function of the incoming water properties. The influent flow is measured accurately, and the corresponding dosage of coagulant/adsorbent is calculated by the control system. The coagulant/adsorbent is dosed from a makeup system where the coagulant/adsorbent is measured, mixed and stored. The coagulant/adsorbent is prepared continuously and dosed continuously.

Magnetic Ballast Purification
 Process overview p2

Flocculation and Maturation Process

This process occurs in a Continuous-Flow Flocculation reactor. The purpose of the flocculation process is to promote the interaction of particles to form aggregates that can be removed. A flocculating polymer is dosed into the reactor to bind particles to the magnetic seed. Depending on the influent characteristics, polymer is added.

Because gravity settling is not employed in the system, the mixing intensity can be increased because all that is needed is for the magnetic and non-magnetic particles to come into contact with each other quickly in the presence of the flocculating polymer. The water is rapidly mixed in the flocculation zone using an overhead mixer. The magnetic seed is in the form of magnetite and is added continuously to the flocculation reactor. The flocculated influent then overflows into the maturation zone. The floc mixture then flows to the magnetic separator.

Retrofit existing Plants

  • Magnaclear can be integrated in existing water treatment processes for faster, better service delivery
  • Ideal to replace or enhance non-performing DAF or clarifiers

Water Treatment Applications p1

Industrial Wastewater

  • Biological treatment
  • Water clarification
  • Cooling water applications
  • Storm water treatment
  • Makeup process water
  • Phosphorus removal


  • Onsite leachate treatment
  • Increase methane production
  • Manage water balance
  • Treat storm water
  • Manage outlets for recyclables
  • Use landfill to effectively treat:
    • Biowastes
    • Industrial wastewater

Mining and Hydrofracking

  • Acid mine drainage treatment
  • Heavy metal removal
  • Stormwater runoff treatment
  • Mining water clarification
  • Hydrofrack water treatment


  • Cooling tower treatment
  • Ash pond TSS and heavy metal treatment
  • Coal pile and stormwater runoff treatment
  • Flue gas desulfurization treatment
  • Packaged biological treatment systems

Water Treatment Applications p2

Food & Drinking Water

  • Wastewater biological treatment
  • Cooling tower treatment
  • Makeup water
  • Sanitary waste treatment
  • Drinking water
  • Emergency response mobile units:
    • Small community systems
    • Arsenic and heavy metal removal
    • Home systems
    • Reduced chemical usage
    • Minimum waste generation

Municipal WWTP

  • Double capacity without increasing footprint
  • Reduce sludge quantities by over 50%
  • Double methane production
  • Remove sidestream nutrients
  • Polish out phosphorus
  • Upstream treatment to reduce plant load
  • Clarifies filamentous and anaerobic bacteria

Agriculture & Stormwater

  • Animal wastewater treatment
  • Stormwater treatment
  • High flow rates
  • Inline urban water treatment
  • Rapid startup and shutdown
  • Heavy metal removal
  • Low chemical usage
  • Oil and grease removal
  • Floatable solids separation


  • Ballast treatment
  • Bilge water treatment
  • Dredge water treatment
  • Sanitary waste treatment
  • Shipyard stormwater

Modular Addition

Influent: High turbidity


  • Magnaclear is different to other technologies because it can handle high volumes since no settling time is needed to remove particles
  • MagnaClear uses the adsorption characteristics of magnetite to remove contaminants from waters.
  • MagnaClear media used, is recycled and regenerated unlike RO systems where the membranes need replacement at high cost.
  • MagnaClear can handle upsets in flow such as higher demand and surges
  • This technology is very versatile, as it can be used for a various number of water purification applications such as:
    • Waters that contain fine particles of metal precipitates, organic solids, inorganic solids, clays, silts, algae and other fine particles, dissolved metals, sulphates and phosphates

Test Results & Performance

Water Source Initial TSS(ppm) Final TSS (ppm) % Reduction
Algae – Hartbeespoort Dam >315 <3 99.1
Algae & factories run-off – Rietvlei >300 <1 93.7
Algae & other – Polokwane (River/dam) >65 <1 98.0
AMD – (Western Basin) pH >9 >1000 <1 99.9
AMD – (Western Basin) pH 6.6 >1000 <1 99.9
AMD – (Western Basin) pH 2.8 >250 <1 99.6
AMD – (Coal Mine) pH 6.6 >1000 <1 99.9
Municipal Mixed pollution >1000 <6 99.8
ArcelorMittal MTP

ArcelorMittal CET







MagnaClear Test Results

Data Source: Siemens laboratory test results

Water Source Initial TTS (ppm) Final TTS (ppm) % Reduction
Aluminum Anodizing 696 9 98.7
Metal Finishing 607 1 99.8
Metal Finishing 1177 5 99.6
Surface Water 150 2 98.7
Surface Water 151 5 96.7
Phosphate Removal 350 3 99.1
Softening 850 7 99.2
Municipal Mixed Liquor 3025 6 99.8

Acid Mine Drainage

AMD Testing - Western Basin

Acid Mine Drainage

What is AMD?

  • AMD Highly acidic water, containing high concentrations of metals, sulphides, and salts
  • Occurs when sulphide-bearing minerals in rock are exposed to air and water, changing the sulphide to sulphuric acid
  • Can develop throughout the mining process: in underground workings, open pit mine faces, waste rock dumps, tailings deposits, and ore stockpiles
  • AMD is largely associated with gold and coal mining.

Acid Mine Drainage Test Results

Analysis of AMD  – Major Indicators


Test for Unit
Iron mg/L 720
Manganese mg/L 130.76
Sulphate mg/L 3542
pH value 3.7

DWAF Specs for Treated AMD

 Major indicators

Test for Unit
Iron mg/L  < 1.0
Manganese mg/L  < 10.0
Sulphate mg/L  < 2 500
pH value  < 9.5 > 6.5

Testing different waters

Algae Removal

  • MagnaClear removes algae easily
  • Does not rely on gravity for settling of air flotation
  • Algae is a living organism that causes water quality problems in dams and rivers
  • It adds toxins to the water and its decay consumes oxygen from the water
  • It is small in size and either floats or sinks depending on its food and light supply