Published on: 19/01/2024

Another international SPORE patent granted! India joins Vietnam and Australia

Another international SPORE patent granted! India joins Vietnam and Australia

We are excited to announce EEI has been successfully granted patent in India for our revolutionary SPORE Process!

India joins the list of countries where our SPORE technology has been awarded patent, with Vietnam and Australia, alongside successful Patent Cooperative Treaty for global patents. This achievement continues to validate our innovation and dedication to pushing boundaries in the alumina refinery and waste management industry globally.

SPORE serves the environment by:
a) Reducing the risk of legacy sodium oxalate waste (SOW) storage lagoon environmental contamination through remediation and creating the opportunity to converting the lagoons as reactors.

b) Providing an alternative to energy intensive treatment processors, reducing greenhouse gas output. Additionally, methane generated in the process is captured for beneficial use – turning the treatment facility carbon neutral in operation.
c) Creating product streams of sodium carbonate and aluminium hydrates that would otherwise be wasted. Recovering these products reduces the demand for new materials.  
d) Reducing freshwater usage at the refinery to maintain storage lagoons/tailing dams.
e) Providing a new opportunity to remediate legacy tailings dams with toxic reagents from other industries such as coal, copper, gold, lead, zinc, iron, and silver.

EEI regularly employs our engineering skillsets to treat highly contaminated industrial waste streams. Given the recent tragedies with tailings dams, we have recognised the risk SOW storage poses to the environment and community.  

Release of SOW to the environment through an accident or critical event would cause significant damage. The SOW has a pH of 13 which is incompatible with most life. Eliminating the need for large volumes of SOW storage is the best way to manage the risk. SPORE presents the mechanism to decommission SOW lagoons because of the economic and reliability benefits.

SPORE technology also offers:
•    cost-effective treatment of sodium oxalate waste.
•    revenue generation from treatment by-products approximately $150/ton  of oxalate.
•    protection against groundwater contamination.
•    reclamation of storage dam land.

The community stands to benefit as SPORE addresses the oxalate issue, safeguarding the environment while fostering industrial prosperity.

Employing SPORE to resolve the legacy SOW issue is not the only potential application. EEI continue to develop new applications for SPORE beyond oxalate treatment. Several mining waste management challenges are potential candidates for SPORE including coal tailings waste rehabilitation and energy recovery, remediation of acid mine drainage, cyanide destruction in gold tailings, and bioleaching. This versatility exemplifies the adaptability of the technology to various waste management practices across Australia and overseas, expanding our business network across diverse markets.

 

This innovation provides opportunity for alumina refineries to attain social licence to operate. SPORE enhances sustainability by reducing greenhouse emissions and the demands of virgin hazardous chemicals and facilitating reuse of freed assets for the refineries.  This is a win-win for the industry and the community.


We are grateful to our team for their hardwork and look forward to the future opportunities this patent holds.