MELBOURNE, Australia, Sept. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Clean TeQ Holdings Limited (Clean TeQ or Company) advises that, following the encouraging progress towards development of a graphene-oxide based water filtration membrane, Clean TeQ is to form an incorporated joint venture with Ionic Industries Pty Ltd (Ionic) to further develop and commercialise this exciting opportunity.
As previously announced, Clean TeQ has been working with Ionic Industries and Monash University to develop, manufacture and apply graphene oxide membranes for water filtration applications. While graphene and graphene oxide are the world’s thinnest, strongest and most conductive materials yet discovered, with huge potential for industrial water filtration applications, difficulty in manufacturing processes and high production costs have to date severely limited their commercialisation.
Over the past 18 months, Clean TeQ and Ionic have successfully developed a process to manufacture high purity graphene oxide that can be applied to a membrane support to create a highly efficient graphene nanofiltration membrane (GO-Membrane). Significantly, the GO-Membrane manufacturing process has been demonstrated on commercial scale industrial equipment.
Graphene oxide-based membranes have the potential to deliver significant benefits due to their high water flux, tunability and non-fouling properties. The advantages of the membranes over existing commercially available membrane technologies include increased flow, better water recovery and lower energy costs.
Freshwater scarcity and the move to water reuse is driving growth in the water membrane filtration market and in spiral membranes, such as reverse osmosis and nanofiltration. The spiral membrane market is estimated at USD 5.10 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to USD 8.20 billion by 2023. The major constraint to growth is the high operating costs for the end user. If successful, the development of a cost-effective GO-Membrane could displace a large proportion of the existing reverse osmosis and nanofiltration membrane technologies as well as creating opportunities for new water filtration applications.
Ionic is a commercialisation partner of Monash University, with a framework agreement covering a range of graphene-based technologies being developed by Monash. In early 2017, Clean TeQ and Ionic entered into a partnership agreement which required Clean TeQ to fund a $200,000 programme of works for graphene oxide product development and testing with the Monash research team and at Clean TeQ’s facilities. Subject to Clean TeQ successfully completing this product development and testing phase prior to 30 September 2018, Clean TeQ may, at its election, form a joint venture with Ionic for the purpose of bringing the products to market in the field of water purification. Given the positive progress demonstrated during the product development and testing phase, Clean TeQ has elected to progress to the next phase of the partnership with Ionic through the formation of the joint venture.
The joint venture with Ionic will be structured as a newly incorporated joint venture (JV Co) owned 75% by Clean TeQ and 25% by Ionic. Ionic will grant a sub-licence of its GO technologies to JV Co in the field of water purification. Both partners will fund pro-rata expenditure in JV Co to progress development and commercialization of the technology.
Once established, JV Co will be focused on achieving commercial scale production of graphene oxide and GO-Membranes, as well as water purification modules targeted at wholesale and retail customers.
The JV Co will be led by Peter Voigt, Clean TeQ’s founder and Chief Technology Officer, who said “Through the use of advanced materials, like graphene oxide, we have an opportunity to significantly improve and grow the membrane water filtration market. Graphene’s amazing properties provide a window into a new world of water recovery and reuse.”
Commenting on the decision to progress to the next phase of development via the establishment of the joint venture, Clean TeQ’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sam Riggall, said, “Clean TeQ’s vision is focused on empowering the clean revolution through incremental innovations that provide better performance at lower cost. The application of graphene oxide-based membranes to water treatment is showing strong commercial viability and we look forward to this new joint venture continuing the ground-breaking work in this space.”
About the National Graphene Association (NGA)
The National Graphene Association is the main organization and body in the U.S. advocating and promoting the commercialization of graphene. NGA is focused on addressing critical issues such as policy and standards development that will result in effective integration of graphene and graphene based materials globally. NGA brings together current and future graphene stakeholders — entrepreneurs, companies, researchers, developers and suppliers, investors, venture capitalists and government agencies — to drive innovation, and to promote and facilitate the commercialization of graphene products and technologies.
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