Tuesday, 18 February 2020 08:57

Flinders signs deal for commercialisation of pollution clean-up agent

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Associate Professor Justin Chalker at work with the sulfur-based polymer. Associate Professor Justin Chalker at work with the sulfur-based polymer. Supplied

The Chalker Research Laboratory at Flinders University and environmental technology firm Clean Earth Technologies have signed a deal to commercialise new technology that could help remediate environmental pollution.

A statement from the University said the new technology, a polysulfide "clean-up" agent developed by Flinders' scientist Associate Professor Justin Chalker, could be used to tackle oil spills, mercury pollution and fertiliser runoff.

The deal assigns a number of patents to the Singapore-based CET which plans to manufacture the agent in South Australia. These cover a class of novel polymers used for environmental remediation, and a new mercury- and cyanide-free method of precious metal extraction and recovery, among others.

Also agreed on is research collaboration that provides funding for Chalker and his team to continue their work on the new agent.

Flinders University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint said: “World-class research at Flinders University addresses challenges of local, national and global significance to deliver outcomes that improve lives.

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Clean Energy Technologies chairman Paul Hanna, Flinders University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint, CET director Wayne Simms and and inventor Associate Professor Justin Chalker at the signing of the deal. Supplied

“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.”

CET chairman and co-founder Paul Hanna said: “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 pollution.

“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."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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