Singapore-based environmental technology company Clean Earth Technologies (CET) is set to commercialise novel Australian technology developed at Flinders University that could fix some of the world’s biggest environmental pollution problems, such as oil spills, mercury pollution and fertiliser runoff.
CET has signed a deal with the Chalker Research Lab at Flinders to support ongoing development of the absorbent polysulphide “clean-up” agent invented by Flinders Associate Professor Justin Chalker. The company has also been assigned a suite of patents and will go on to commercialise the polysulphide material for global markets, with plans to set up the first manufacturing facility in South Australia.
The patents cover numerous areas, including a class of novel polymers used for environmental remediation, and a new mercury- and cyanide-free method of precious metal extraction and recovery.
The agreement also includes a research collaboration that will provide ongoing funding for Associate Professor Chalker and his team, including scholarships and salaries for researchers, and royalties as they continue to find new ways to use the breakthrough product.
Flinders University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint congratulated Associate Professor Chalker and his team for making big inroads into solving real-world problems via the commercialisation of the new green polymer technology.
“World-class research at Flinders University addresses challenges of local, national and global significance to deliver outcomes that improve lives,” says Professor Saint. “I can think of no better example than the work of the Chalker Laboratory in turning their outstanding research into new resources that can be used to deliver a cleaner world.”
Paul Hanna is cofounder and Chairman of CET. He says: “We are heavily focused on some of the biggest and most challenging environmental problems in the world today - devastating oil spills, growing piles of e-waste and toxic mercury pollutions.
“Most countries are grappling with the same big issues and they come at a huge financial, social and environmental cost.
“We are looking for smarter, more effective solutions and our partnership with Flinders University, and the Chalker Research Lab, will go a long way to addressing many of these problems.
“Technology like this, that uses waste to solve waste problems, has huge advantages for industry at the big end of town. It can also save the lives of thousands of small, artisanal miners around the world who use poisonous chemicals, like mercury, to survive and the communities around them.”