The Calix News has been designed to communicate with a variety of stakeholders, focusing on the company’s achievements, capabilities, R&D insights and people. In our last newsletter, we announced we had applied for a European Union “Horizons 2020” grant – “Project LEILAC” – to demonstrate the use of Calix’s CFC technology in Lime and Cement production with direct separation of CO2 .
Calix is delighted to announce Project LEILAC was nominated by the EU to progress to the second (and final) round submission due late Q3, 2014. The top cement, lime, and technology companies and research institutions in the world have workshopped the project with Calix, and have expressed interest in participating in the project. We are in the process of putting together a project consortium now in readiness for the final bid.
As at end-June 2014, Calix Magnesium Hydroxide Slurry (ACTIMag) has been trialled with over a dozen customers across multiple sites over 6 months, treating approximately 6.9 billion litres of waste water and sewage. Our speed of neutralisation has been borne out over several trials as superior to our competitors due to the high reactivity of our source MgO powder. To date we have not had a single customer complaint associated with our performance.
Another exciting recent achievement was the nomination of Calix as a finalist in the Australian Technologies Competition (ATC) – as one of Australia’s most exciting technology companies. Reaching the finals of Australia’s premier technology innovation competition is a welcome endorsement of the effort and belief our staff and shareholders have put into the company over several years. It’s great to see our game-changing technology gaining traction in the wider business and technical community.
Calix recently exhibited at the 39th Annual WIOA (Water Industry Operators Association) QLD Water Industry Operations Conference and Exhibition in Logan. Not only has this exhibition allowed us to promote ACTI-Mag Magnesium Hydroxide to the water operations network, but it has led to the start of several new trials. Calix will also be exhibiting at the Annual VIC WIOA Conference and Exhibition in Bendigo (3 - 4 September 2014) – come and meet us!
We are also delighted to announce that we have been awarded a Commercialisation Australia grant of just over $1.81 m to help us fund our Magnesium Hydroxide Slurry (MHS) commercialisation journey. This grant matches equivalent committed funding from Calix representing a significant investment over 18 months to bring waste water treatment slurries to market. Calix will be using the funds to accelerate the roll-out of our proprietary MHS slurrying technology via transportable batching plants.
Lastly, our cash position has been further strengthened with an additional $3.5m R&D tax rebate received early August. We remain confident in our future and continue to work hard to achieve value growth for our shareholders.
Phil Hodgson, CEO
Sydney Water services over 4.6 million people in Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains. Through a network of 24,000km of wastewater pipes, 680 pumping stations, 14 water recycling plants and 16 treatment plants it collects and treats approximately 1.3 billion litres of wastewater each day.
Sydney Water recently conducted a 3 month trial using Calix’s ACTI-Mag Magnesium Hydroxide Slurry (MHS) in one of the chemical dosing units for corrosion control. KPI’s were set by Sydney Water to determine the success/failure of the trial. The Calix MHS product performed adequately and matched the existing product in terms of performance.
The product trials were completed successfully and to the reasonable satisfaction of Sydney Water. Calix’s ACTI-Mag (MHS) is expected to undergo further assessment. Sydney Water may be contacted for further details on the trial of Calix’s ACTI-Mag (MHS).
Calix is establishing a sales and production ACTI-Mag business in the Philippines for both Municipal and Industrial waste water treatment in South East Asia.
In August, Calix’s first offshore batching plant was trialled in Manila. The facility is being developed to produce highly active Magnesium Hydroxide products from our high surface area ACTI-Mag Magnesium Oxide, supplied from Calix’s CFC15000 Flash Calciner at our Bacchus Marsh Production Facility in Australia.
The Philippine water treatment industry has shown great interest in this exciting new project. From August and September, numerous trials will start taking place. These trials will include municipal sewage, food processing, semiconductors, acid mine water, aquaculture and agriculture applications. Calix looks forward to supplying these different industries with an effective and safe neutralisation agent, building on our success in the Australian market in the rapidly developing Philippines and wider SE Asian market.
The Calix MHS technology, utilising our high reactivity MgO, has been developed to allow low capital cost plants to be located closer to markets.
The Queensland consumption of Magnesium Hydroxide is significant and growing, and Calix has begun construction of a production facility near Brisbane to service this important market. This facility will allow Calix to deliver Magnesium Hydroxide straight to our customers in Queensland as we do for Victoria from our facility there.
Supported by a dedicated business development manager based in Brisbane and our engineering, research and development and sales teams in Sydney and Melbourne, deliveries are expected to start before the end of 2014. The new plant will supply ACTIMag Magnesium Hydroxide Slurry to councils, water authorities, industrial and commercial clients in a timely and efficient manner.
A satisfied customer from Queensland’s poultry/abattoir industry– “The development of a technology which would allow the production of Magnesium Hydroxide slurry for waste water treatment in a cost efficient and distributed manner would be extremely beneficial for the expanded use of this product for waste water treatment. We stopped using Magnesium Hydroxide slurry about 3 years ago and reverted to a more hazardous product (Sodium Hydroxide) due to issues with reliable delivery and prohibitive costs, which was partly attributed to the product being supplied from interstate. I am told the current technique for production of the slurry is capital intensive and thus requires very large local markets to justify the investment in a regional plant. The technique proposed by Calix in which their proprietary high reactive MgO powder is converted to slurry in a lower capital cost, easier to operate plant will allow distributed production of the slurry at a scale that removes the barrier to its broader use in the Queensland market. I look forward to the continued development of this project and the possibility of sourcing Magnesium Hydroxide slurry at a cost that is competitive to less safe alternatives.”
Calix is already producing the highest reactive magnesium oxide (MgO) from the calcination of magnesite (MgCO3 ) in the world. Calix can produce magnesium oxide with a specific surface area of about 250 m2/gm compared to 25-50 m2/gm from competitive manufacturing processes. Trials of our materials as probiotics are ongoing in various applications, and the preliminary results are encouraging.
Our hypothesis is that the probiotic response arises from the high reactivity, and it follows that any further improvement of the reactivity should provide an enhancement of the probiotic properties. The high reactivity is directly linked to high surface area. Recently, Calix has further improved its production process and the most recent results show that we have an ability to produce MgO with a surface area in excess of 300 m2/gm, on a commercial scale. To put that in context, the powders produced at Bacchus Marsh in one year have a surface area about equal to the surface of Australia, about 7.7 million km2. In June, Calix won a grant from the New South Wales government to use the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne to investigate the properties of the materials at the nanoscale (1 nm = 1 billionth of a meter) using an process called Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS).
A preliminary report shows that the SAXS has identified the unique structures of our materials, with a characteristic length scale of about 6 nm. Our micron-scale particles’ huge surface areas have been shown to derive from a structure that can be likened to agglomerates of nano-particles. There is a growing industry worldwide developing nanomaterials.
Calix can claim to be at the forefront of development of these products. Better still, our materials display nano-functionality in the form of powders that can be easily handled and processed. There is every reason to believe that our reactor technology can be used to make a wide class of such nano-functional products on a commercial scale.
John joined Calix in November 2012 as a Business Development Manager focusing on business development in building products, waste water treatment and aquaculture. John’s focus over the past 12 months has shifted from the Australian domestic market to an Asian focus with our business expansion into the Philippines. Originally from England, John started his career in R & D laboratories for I.C.I. After immigrating to Australia, John continued working in laboratories in Melbourne, eventually changing focus to technical chemicals sales in the 80’s with Abel Lemon and Harcross working in Vic, WA and NSW. When Abel Lemon merged with Bleakly, John was promoted to National Sales & Marketing Manager focusing on paints, inks, rubber, plastics, detergents, cosmetics and general chemicals. John then took up a similar position with HCA Colors. Both of these positions included extensive overseas travel, particularly in Asia, Europe and the US, which enabled John to build up an extensive contact network to take up the position of Global Sales & Marketing Manager with Sang Hing Hong Chemicals, China. These network contacts and his understanding of Asian business models and skills, are now being utilised by Calix with our current expansion into Asia. John is married with 4 adult children working in IT, Food Technology, Mining and Nursing. John’s hobbies include travel, cooking and AFL football.