Zeotech on track to be Australia’s first producer of ‘advanced material’ zeolite
Link copied to
Zeotech is forging ahead with its plan to be Australia’s first producer of manufactured zeolite, an advanced material with a range of uses in greenhouse gas mitigation, agriculture, animal supplements, and environmental remediation … just to name a few.
The company is working to become Australia’s first producer of manufactured zeolites – commonly known as molecular sieves – with its novel and proprietary mineral processing technology.
Zeolites are porous mineral frameworks, naturally occurring or manufactured, composed mainly of aluminium, silicon, and oxygen.
Their three-dimensional structures can trap, exchange, or release ions and molecules, enabling zeolites to find applications in diverse industrial and environmental contexts. Examples include:
In its latest quarterly activities update Zeotech (ASX:ZEO) says it continues to manage its IP utilising a combination of patents and trade-secret procedures.
In August 2023, ZEO has filed a patent application in Australia titled Method and Use of Zeolites related to carbon sequestration in soils using its products.
The patent application aims to safeguard and enhance potential commercial opportunities resulting from the addition of ZEO’s manufactured zeolite products to soil, and involves the novel and inventive mechanisms these have by improving and protecting soil carbon.
The patent follows ongoing work under the soil carbon stream of ZEO’s agri-soil product development program with Griffith University and will further enhance the datasets created for attracting a fertiliser industry partner.
ZEO says it will further build its IP portfolio, while also pursuing the appropriate protection that best leverages commercial prospects of technology it is advancing.
During the quarter, ZEO also lodged two new patent applications utilising novel processes developed by Zeotech’s Head of Research & Development, Dr. John Vogrin, for the synthesis of low-cost zeolites from coal fly ash and lithium process by-product.
This tech offers a sustainable commercial remediation solution for coal combustion materials and the by-products created from lithium refining industry, converting by-products into valuable advanced materials.
Over the past 10-month ZEO’s Brisbane in-house lab has produced over 500kg of zeolite materials from various feedstocks and is consistently operating at 35kg per week production.
ZEO says the inventories will meet demand for zeolite in the company’s large-scale research related to agri-soil product development and methane emissions control technology.
The company has introduced coal fly ash zeolite to its Griffith University methane emission control project, anticipating this new by-product feedstock would open up future remediation opportunities.
ZEO says its methane emissions control program with Griffith University continues to progress on schedule for completion in June 2024.
The program aims to develop zeolite-based technology to be deployed within the surface capping soil of landfills to adsorb and eliminate methane emissions.
During the quarter ZEO provided samples of its Toondoon kaolin clay to two Queensland cement producers to assess its potential as a metakaolin (calcined clay) supplementary cementitious material (SCM).
Using calcined clays as SCMs can significantly reduce the cement industry’s carbon footprint.
To further collaborate with the industry, ZEO partnered with Central Queensland University (CQU) to explore the suitability of Toondoon and Abercorn kaolin clays across various grades, aiming to optimise their pozzolanic activation for maximum commercial value as efficient SCMs.
ZEO’s partnership with CQU began in September 2023, with sample deliveries after the quarter’s end with the program expected to run for about five months.
During the quarter, ZEO engaged Conrad Partners, a Hong Kong-based commodity marketing agency, to promote its high-quality DSO kaolin product, with a focus on large Asian markets.
ZEO has provided ~40 kgs of kaolin product samples to Conrad’s in China to support early marketing and engagement with prospective offtake partners.
CEO Scott Burkhart says ZEO has made excellent progress on several promising initiatives, including the new soil carbon patent application.
“The in-house lab team have also maintained consistent production of the company’s low-cost, manufactured zeolites,” Burkhart says.
“Pleasingly, this has resulted in over 500kg of inventory produced during 2023, that will support demand from our exciting research programs at Griffith.
“Lastly, we continue to engage proactively with industry regarding a metakaolin product, which uses the company’s large-scale Queensland kaolin assets.”
He says this has included starting work alongside CQU to investigate the kaolin’s potential commercial value as a SCM for greener cement.
This article was developed in collaboration with Zeotech, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.