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Synthetic zeolite is used extensively in industries, including for water treatment and detergents. Source: Collinsdictionary

Australian mineral and compound producer, Metalsearch, has moved a step closer to commercialising its novel synthetic zeolites production from kaolin feedstock.

The company has secured an exclusive worldwide licence from UniQuest, the technology transfer company of the University of Queensland, to begin synthesising zeolite.

This method has the potential to reduce zeolites production costs significantly.

The technology can significantly reduce the cost and time of manufacturing zeolite, which is used in water treatment, detergents and pharmaceutical industries.

A lab-scale study by the University of Queensland has demonstrated up to a 70 per cent reduction in the thermal activation energy consumption and up to an 80 per cent reduction in production time in subsequent zeolite precipitation steps.

Metalsearch intends to use the process to produce synthetic zeolites from kaolin feedstock from its Abercorn project in Queensland, which has successfully produced aluminium oxide at a grade of 99.99 per cent.

Metalsearch chief operating officer Peter Zardo said adopting the innovative technology allows the company to fast track development of its Abercorn project, with low capital cost to commercial production.

“Metalsearch now has the potential for reporting a strong maiden JORC (Joint Ore Reserves Committee) resource on its Abercorn project, exciting technology and executive capability to go to the next level, we all look forward to the journey ahead and updating the market as we progress,” he said.

According to Zardo, the technology will also allow Metalsearch to pursue sub-licencing agreements to existing synthetic zeolite manufacturers and end users.

Metalsearch and the University of Queensland are aiming to construct a pilot plant for synthetic zeolite in the future.

Metalsearch also intends to undertake market participant research, particularly in China, which is recognised as the global manufacturing hub for the synthetic zeolite.