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A New Nano Technology

At the core of Calix’s business is a world-first, patented, Australian technology that re-invents the calcination (kiln) process to enable novel applications, and produce new materials, that address key global challenges…


Calix’s unique, patented CFC technology re-invents the kiln. Our CFC process involves grinding minerals to around one thousandth of a millimetre in size, and then “flash” heating them in a very short time at up to 800 C. As trapped gases in the mineral “bubble out” of the particles, we snap freeze them in a very high energy state, leaving a very porous, honey-comb-like structure. New materials produced by our CFC are proving to have similar properties to highly active nano-materials, without the safety concerns and high cost, but with all the benefits that nano technology is developing into numerous products and markets.


The Calix Flash Calciner (CFC) has been successfully scaled to commercial (30kTpa) production. The CFC combines three difficult-to-achieve principles at scale in one elegant design:

  1. Isolation of kiln furnace gases from a calcined product – the use of indirect heating allows for control of the calcining atmosphere (inert, reducing, oxidising) plus the efficient, direct capture of CO2 from the processing of carbonates such as limestone.
  2. Calcination of micron-sized particles – through indirect (radiative) heating micron-sized particles in a “downer reactor” tube, far higher control and reactivity is achieved, as well as ultimate flexibility in feed (mineral) inputs by type and size.
  3. Production of “nano-active” materials – The combination of 1 and 2 is being used to produce new materials, proving to be “nano-active” in their properties while micron-sized in scale.

Four novel products based upon Calix’s nano-active magnesium oxide have now been produced and are addressing global challenges including waste water management (ACTI-MagTM odour control, biotreater efficiency, biogas production, sludge management, phosphate removal), sewer infrastructure corrosion (PROTECTA-MagTM protective coating for concrete applied without shutting down the sewer), aquaculture (AQUA-Cal+TM yield-boosting water conditioner) and agriculture (BOOSTER-MagTM foliar fertiliser that helps plants fight disease and pests).


Two novel CFC process applications have also been developed and are being funded and piloted in Europe: Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement (LEILAC) for efficient direct separation of CO2 during cement and lime production (awarded €12m in Horizon 2020 funding), and the Endothermic / Exothermic (ENDEX) process for efficient pre-combustion CO2 capture in hydrogen production from natural gas and syngas (awarded £5.8m from UK DECC and €0.75m in EU funding). Calix engineers and scientists are leading both projects. The LEILAC project includes a consortium of the world’s largest cement (HeidelbergCement, Cemex, CRH/Tarmac), lime (Lhoist) and engineering (Amec Foster Wheeler) companies.


Recognition for our technology includes:

  • Australian Technology Competition – Winner  Water Award – 2014
  • Commercialisation Australia  AusIndustry Grant Award  2014
  • Australian Water Association Innovation Award – Jan 2015
  • Australian Business Awards – Best Technology Product – 2015
  • Global Clean Tech Cluster Finalist – Top 30 – 2015
  • NSW Export Awards – Finalist – 2015
  • Australian Technology Competition – Winner - Agritech and Overall Winner – 2015
  • Australian Water Association Innovation Award – Jan 2016
  • EU Horizon2020  SME Seal of Excellence  Feb 2016
  • Accelerating Commercialisation – AusIndustry Grant Award – 2016

The CFC’s processes and products currently in - or near-market have an addressable global market in excess of $50b. Many more applications are still to be investigated including for novel medicines, batteries, catalysts and 3D printing materials.