Published on: 28/08/2023

EEI's latest achievement: Awarded Vietnam Patent

EEI's latest achievement: Awarded Vietnam Patent

We're thrilled to announce our innovative SPORE Process has been granted patent in Vietnam!

This continued achievement validates our innovation and dedication to pushing boundaries in the alumina refinery and waste management industry globally.

 

The journey started in 2016, when we were approached by an alumina refinery to develop a better solution for management of legacy sodium oxalate waste (SOW) stored in tailing dams.

SOW is a highly alkaline (pH ~13) residue of the Bayer process, and is a common problem faced by alumina refineries globally. The cost of neutralisation has led to long term storage of SOW in lagoons while an acceptable solution is found.

Solving SOW fulfills EEI’s vision and philosophy, “Waste management should extend beyond merely fulfilling regulatory mandates and should be viewed as a prudent economic investment, with a substantial return on expenditure.

Our four-year journey encompassed intensive research, laboratory studies, and engineering design, culminating in the multi-award-winning technology known as the Smart Priming Oxalate Removal Enabler (SPORE) Process. SPORE enables legacy SOW storage lagoons to be converted into anaerobic reactors that produce valuable by-products, without on-going addition of pH-neutralisation chemicals. This patented technology can save a typical refinery up to $20 million per year in operational costs.

Our approach to the SOW conundrum shows our commitment to innovation. We took a different approach to SOW treatment, given the high costs and operational failings of conventional technology. We combined lessons learnt from other industries, our anaerobic and circular economy experience, and a solid technical foundation to propose the anaerobic pathway for exploration.

SPORE has generated interest from alumina stakeholders worldwide. We have already achieved successful Patent Cooperative Treaty for global patents, and secured patents in individual countries including Australia and most recently Vietnam, fostering technological advancement, innovation and economic growth.

 

We are grateful to our team for their dedication and look forward to the future possibilities this patent unlocks.