In this newsletter, we introduce a Calix product under development for nearly two years, Calix BOOSTER-MagTM, which received a $950k Australian Government Accelerating Commercialisation Grant to progress its registration here in Australia. As an all-in-one foliar fertiliser and anti-fungal / anti-mite treatment, the product continues to impress with outstanding yield and pest resistant data from our global trials.
We also recently showcased AQUA-Cal+TM at the major Asian Aquaculture convention of the year in Indonesia, with our partners Acti-Mag Asia Inc. (the Philippines), Maha Chemicals (Malaysia), Honlex Jones (Hong Kong) and DCP (Indonesia). We look forward to working with our partners to help grow our AQUA-Cal+TM sales into the huge Asian aquaculture market.
An article on improving biogas production with our ACTI-MagTM product highlights our core customer values of fast innovation and seamless collaboration between our Business Development and R&D departments to deliver a great customer outcome. And there’s a quick update on our PROTECTA-MagTM business, where our first orders for manhole coating have started, following a successful product launch and marketing campaign in January.
We also have a new website – please check it out – and we would welcome your feedback on how to improve our profile and our communication with you.
I hope you enjoy this Newsletter, and we look forward to the second half of the year, having built some great foundations for further growth in the first.
Phil Hodgson, Managing Director & CEO
Once again, Calix is one of a small number of companies to receive a substantial grant under the Australian Federal Government’s Accelerating Commercialisation scheme. The grant will support a two-year project to materially progress the development and commercialisation of BOOSTER-Mag™, a Calix technology for Magnesium Fertilisation and Sustainable Control of Plant Disease & Insect Pests in Agriculture. BOOSTER-MagTM is an Australian-made product that delivers many, currently un-met farmer needs: safety, sustainability, reduced costs and improved yield.
The investment will help Calix move BOOSTER-Mag™ from highly promising R&D program to a registered commercial product. ‘We are fortunate to have strong collaborations with renowned academic and agricultural partners in Australia and overseas, which have enabled us to progress with trials on different
crops across three continents. Our collaborative approach and commitment to innovation has already proven its success on other products, and we are confident our core offering - Improved Performance and Exceptional Service at Lower Cost – will ensure success for BOOSTER-Mag™ as well.’ Says Phil Hodgson, CEO of Calix.
Rigorous field trials of BOOSTER-Mag™ continues in Australia, the Philippines and France on vegetable, fruit and cereal crops. Applied as a foliar spray, results have been remarkable; effective control of serious insect and fungal disease and, in many cases, a 30% or higher increase in crop yield.
Biogas production from wastewater is one of the answers to the energy and environmental needs of the future. Many water authorities are either operating anaerobic cogeneration plants or have the potential to convert their anaerobic plant to a cogeneration facility. Treating wastewater streams though an anaerobic process to produce both biogas energy and treated wastewater simultaneously can provide a significant economic boost for water authorities, as well as helping the environment.
Two of the key parameters in maximising the economics of biogas generation from anaerobic systems is the management of “rotten egg gas” (H2S) in the biogas and the consistency of biogas production. Addition of an alkali is typically a critical part of the anaerobic system for maintenance of pH and alkalinity.
The piggery in this case study has been owned and operated by the same family company since 1970. In 1991 they invested $2m on an anaerobic cogeneration plant and started producing electricity from the piggery effluent.
At present the piggery produces 3000kWh per day of electricity. As the price of electricity has risen, the business wanted to improve the production of electricity from the anaerobic cogeneration plant.
Many water authorities do not take advantage of the energy potential their anaerobic systems offer via biogas capture and conversion, largely due to variable system performance. Australia only converts 0.1% of sewage biogas to electricity. Better waste treatment performance could help lift this figure by orders of magnitude.
Calix was called in to improve the system. We started with lab testing in our R&D facility to determine the correct dosing rate for the field trial. Our R&D team assessed hydrated lime, caustic soda, standard magnesium hydroxide and Calix ACTI-MagTM as potential alkalis. In static lab tests, Calix’s ACTI-MagTM product produced a three-fold increase in biogas volume compared to the other alkaline materials tested.
Our Business Development team then designed and managed the field trials with the customer. Some great results were achieved :
1. Biogas volume increased by 20%
2. Power generation increased by 23.5%.
3. The soluble phosphate reduced by 37.5% in the final waste stream.
4. The H2S level reduced from 800-600 ppm range to below 200 ppm.
5. System blockages (due to solid crystal formation called “Struvite”) were eliminated during the trial, having previously formed on a regular basis.
Calix’s ACTI-Mag™ has been judged “Best New Technology- Water” in 2014 by the Australian Technology Competition, and “Best New Innovation” in 2016 by the Australian Water Association (AWA), the industry body for its target market. Feel free to contact us if you wish to receive copy of our biogas presentation paper from WIOA Rockhampton, by post or by email.
Following our successful product launch and marketing campaign for manhole protection, Central Highlands Water and Western Water councils took a decision to trial Calix PROTECTA-MagTM for manhole corrosion protection. Four of the man-holes were less than 3 meters deep and were spray coated using a special lance from the surface, while one was 7 meters requiring Calix’s “Vertical Spray” deep manhole rig, again operated from the surface.
Calix’s simple and effective application process was carried out without stopping the sewer flow and without man entry. Along with manhole side walls, the rear of manhole covers was also coated as well as the sewer flow canal. All manhole coatings were completed in just three days.
Testing at the four-month mark after coating has just been completed. The tests concluded that the layer of PROTECTA-MagTM was intact and still strongly adhered to the concrete. A high surface pH was confirmed, and no bacterial colonies were detected on the manhole walls, and no corrosion was observed to be taking place. This is consistent with Calix’s previous experience, having now passed the 10-month mark with the
same results with our Gold Coast City Council trial.
pH and corrosion of sewer assets how does it work?
How does PROTECTA-MagTM prevent corrosion?
Dan joined Calix in July 2014, primarily to assist with developing the LEILAC proposal under the European Union’s H2020 programme. LEILAC is a 5-year major project to develop and demonstrate a new technology for carbon capture in the cement and lime industry. LEILAC will deliver a step-change in the efficiency of capturing CO2 emissions.
Visit project-leilac.eu for more information and follow it on twitter under ‘ProjectLEILAC’.
Dan has a MA in history from St Andrews in the UK, and worked in the electricity industry. Keen to contribute to global decarbonisation efforts he joined the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute (GCCSI) as a regional representative for Europe based in France. During that time he ran the European CCS Demonstration Project Network, which contained 7 large scale projects.
Dan is currently the coordinator of the LEILAC project, which started in January 2016 and is being led by Calix. He is greatly enjoying working with the dedicated and enthusiastic staff within Calix and project partners (which include leading industrial, engineering, R&D and consulting organisations).
Dan and his wife, Anne-Sophie, have a very bubbly and adored child, Luc - whose future is proving to be an extra motivation for working on Calix’s market-leading innovations for environmental and social benefit.