Vol 3 2018

NWU takes research to new heights

Welcome to 2018's third edition of the North-West University's research newsletter, Research@NWU. The aim of the newsletter is to showcase research projects, researchers and related events. This edition highlights research for a healthier planet for generations to come.

Follow this link to see Prof Refilwe Phaswana-Mafuya, the deputy vice-chancellor for research and innovation, speak about the importance of research that helps preserve the planet for future generations.


Action-based research brings positive environmental change

Climate change is not something that happens at a distance, to other regions and other people, but is a phenomenon that has an impact on everyone, everywhere. This is a lesson that grade 7 learners are being exposed to through a research project involving researchers from the NWU's campus in Vanderbijlpark.

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"Green coal": Fuel of the future

Coal in its traditional form might soon be a relic of the past, but ground-breaking research by the NWU is showing how a face-lift to this fossil fuel has numerous safe, green possibilities. A revolutionary process to manufacture “green” coal that will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80% is being tested in a pilot study by the Centre of Excellence in Carbon-based Fuels.

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Taxing answers to carbon emissions

Studies have shown South Africa is one of the world’s largest carbon emitters. Dr Michelle Barnard, a senior lecturer from the Faculty of Law, has pledged to try and change this. She recently published an award-winning article that focused on greenhouse gases, climate change mitigation in South Africa, and how the country can apply the proposed carbon tax that is set to be introduced later this year or in 2019.

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Investigating safe use of plant medicine

Simangaliso Lesley Mashego, a master’s student in Indigenous Knowledge Systems at the campus in Mahikeng, is doing research about safety measures employed by a rural Khoi-San community for commonly used medicinal plants as a way to improve health care in South Africa. The research focused on 10 communally used medicinal plants, five of which were reported to be “strong” and “less safe” by participants.

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Please share your comments and input by sending an email to the newsletter editor, willie.duplessis@nwu.ac.za