With the financial re-structuring of the company fully completed, Calix has been concentrating on making its business plans a reality over the first quarter of 2014.
We have successfully established regular and growing revenue streams from customers of Calix’s Magnesium Hydroxide slurry – ACTIMag – in the waste water and sewage treatment industries. We continue to get great feed-back from our new customers on this product, especially its “excellent flow” performance. We have also made great progress on the development of building products with significant partners over the quarter, as well as advanced several potential technology licenses. And we have made significant progress on our UK-based Endex project, where we are deep into our front-end-engineering-design for our first demonstration unit, which will take natural gas or syngas and produce hydrogen, while efficiently capturing CO2.
While the Endex project is being pursued abroad, Calix remains keen to see its technologies developed to help secure Australia’s manufacturing and energy future. Calix has responded to the Australian Government’s call for submissions to comment on Energy and Environmental policy development and will continue to engage the Government to encourage a policy framework where Calix’s technology can reach its full potential in Australia.
Calix also recently attended the 8th Annual WIOA (Water Industry Operators Association) NSW Water Industry Operations Conference and Exhibition in Orange. The conference brought together a wide range water industry personnel involved in the operation and maintenance of urban, rural and industrial water related infrastructure for the management, conveyance, treatment, discharge and reuse of water and trade wastes. This was an excellent occasion for us to update our knowledge and skills, create new contacts within the water operations network, and discuss the latest advances in technical equipment and systems with suppliers and trade consultants. Calix will be exhibiting at the Annual WIOA (Water Industry Operators Association) Conference and Exhibition both in Queensland (Logan, 5-4 Jun 2014; site #105) and in Victoria (Bendigo, 4-5 Sept 2014; site #22). Please come and meet us!
Phil Hodgson, CEO
In our last newsletter, we announced a recent patent application for the use of Calix’s CFC technology in ordinary Portland cement production, to enhance efficiency and future-proof the industry by efficiently capturing CO2. Since then, we have applied for a European Union “Horizons 2020” grant – “Project LEILAC” – to demonstrate the technology, and numerous very positive discussions with major players in the global cement and lime industry on project participation and licensing the technology.
LEILAC is a joint European-Australian collaboration to develop a 200 tpd pilot plant for lime and cement production using breakthrough technology to capture CO2, called Direct Capture. Lime and cement production together account for more than 5 % of global CO2 emissions. LEILAC will demonstrate the capture of ~60 % of this CO2 without significant energy or capital penalty.
Direct Capture is achieved solely by re-engineering the process flows used in the best available technology for lime and cement calcination. Carbonate calcination occurs by indirect counterflow heating, and consequentially the flue gases are not mixed with the CO2 emitted from the carbonate minerals.
This technology is already operating at a commercial scale for magnesite calcination. No separation technologies, new materials or processes are required.
Direct Capture is a breakthrough, and adds a new strategy for CCS. It can greatly assist the European Union to meet its target of 80% emissions reduction by 2050, with around half of these emissions reductions coming from industries such as lime and cement.
The potential of highly reactive MgO powders as the basis for new building products which offer a lighter and greener option to those traditionally made with Portland Cement has been recognised for many years. Calix recently took a significant step closer to realising this potential when it undertook a production trial of a formulation designed to make a roof tile. The trial was a successful first step after more than 2 years of laboratory development and provided a significant boost in our understanding of the relationship between laboratory tests and commercial production processes. We hope to be able to broaden our production test experience into other common products such as blocks and pavers in the near future.
Safe, effective, economical and environmentally responsible odour control and asset protection in sewerage collection networks has long been the bane of Councils and Water Authorities in Australia.
Masking agents, corrosive chemicals, non-performing and expensive solutions have all entered the market making various claims in one form or another. Research has proven Magnesium Hydroxide Liquid (MHL) to be the safest, most cost effective and environmentally friendly chemical to use for odour control of H2S and long term protection from system corrosion.
If Magnesium hydroxide is considered by many to be the most cost effective product used in odour control of hydrogen sulphide, for neutralisation and corrosion protection in sewerage systems, why are some Councils and Water Authorities around Australia still hesitant about using MHL?
“We’ve tried MHL before but we kept on experiencing issues with regular blockages in our dosing system.”
Calix’s ACTI-Mag™ is a concentrated stabilised suspension of magnesium hydroxide. ACTI-Mag™ can be supplied as a stabilised slurry or can easily be hydrated on site using simple techniques and equipment from our reactive ACTI-Mag™ Mg0, thanks to a surface area greater than 100 m2/gm. Imparting excellent neutralisation speed due to the high surface area and producing less sludge, ACTIMag™ offers a range of benefits when compared to traditional and other MHL treatments.
“Calix Magnesium Hydroxide flows much better than the slurries previously used in our systems.”
The secret to a truly successful business lies within a keen understanding of the needs but also challenges of the market – Since our first slurry sale last year, not only has Calix successfully doubled the volume of customers each month but is also currently looking at numerous exciting new sales and joint ventures prospects.
But it is not all about product quality. No matter how good a slurry’s properties and characteristics may be, the importance of a correctly designed slurry storage and dosing system should also not be underestimated.
As well as designing and supplying new slurry storage and dosing systems, Calix services also include engineering support and laboratory testing. Whatever the issue, Calix will tailor a solution to meet the real needs and challenges of its clients.
“During one plant visit the customer mentioned a reduction in their usage by 5-10 % since the implementation of Calix’s ACTI-Mag™ slurry.”
With a mine in South Australia, an innovative patented flash calciner to produce our own trademarked Magnesium Oxide and the management of our own slurry batching plants, we control the quality and reliability of our products and services from the raw mineral to the end use product.
Calix has produced extremely high surface area magnesium oxide from its commercial scale CFC Reactor. The powders have a surface area greater than 250 m2/gm, compared to competitive products of typically less than 50 m2/gm.
We call the powders “fractal” because the particles structure is internally characterised as having a dimension of about 2.6 – between that of 3 in conventional particles, and 2 for surfaces. Fractal surfaces are very reactive, and are populated by chemical species not normally seen in conventional materials, such as superoxide ions 02–2
When the powder is hydrated in water to give a suspension, these species survive and the suspension exhibits properties normally seen in laboratories dedicated to frontier research on “nano-materials”. Early trials of the suspensions, called Super-Mag™ have begun to reveal the value-added properties of the suspensions – ranging from anti-fungal properties, to water clarification and bio-availability of oxygen. The potential of Super-Mag™ as the basis for agriculture and aquaculture products is an exciting possibility. Calix’ unique ability to produce the product on commercial scale sets the platform for commercialisation.
Thilini migrated to Australia in 2004 and graduated from RMIT University with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. She started her career with Bovis Lend Lease, where she was responsible for commissioning an ammonium nitrate plant in Yarrawonga. She then joined Tex Onsite where she was in charge of testing and calibrating process equipment and troubleshooting. Thilini joined Calix in March 2012 as a process engineer. Her responsibilities included operation and optimisation of the CFC 850 Calciner plant, MTM 100 grinder plant, preparing flow charts and diagrams, developing safe operating procedures and liaising with the R&D team. With the R&D team, Thilini was involved in production of the Hydromagnesite slurry with the Novacem technology, developing CO2 sorbents with sodium doped Semidolime with the Imperial College group in London, and Mg(OH)2 and Semidolime slurry production. At the start of 2014, Thilini became Calix’s HSEQ coordinator to help building a safety culture, promote a safe and healthy environment as well as work towards achieving products with consistent quality. Currently, she is completing the Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and intends to do the diploma afterwards. Thilini admires the company’s strong safety culture, proactivity and its staff’s willingness to help each other. From the top management down, everyone is committed to placing safety as a priority. At home Thilini enjoys playing table tennis, watching movies, shopping and gardening.