The University of Melbourne and Hancock Prospecting have entered into a multi-year partnership to develop their Carbelec technology that utilises electrolysis at low temperature to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into reusable carbon and oxygen.
Carbelec is seen as a potential game changer for industries such as steel making as it could enable the constant capture and re-use of carbon, balancing steel production with the reduction of CO2 emissions.
By capturing and reusing the carbon in a closed cycle, many existing efficient and proven processes could become essentially zero emission.
It is expected that commercial applications of Carbelec would utilise proven renewable energy sources to power the electrolysis process.
The university has successfully demonstrated Carbelec within its laboratories, with the partnership with HPPL refining and then scaling up of Carbelec over a two-stage developmental program.
Dean of engineering Professor Mark Cassidy, said he was thrilled with the opportunity the new venture presented.
Professor Cassidy said: “This partnership will allow researchers and Hancock Prospecting to establish a comprehensive research and development program which addresses core components to develop this exciting technology.
“Our aim is to combine our world leading research expertise with Hancock Prospecting’s ability for real world practical deployment, and together develop this technology on an industrial scale.”
Hancock Prospecting CEO Garry Korte said the potential benefits of Carbelec should be significant and far-reaching.
Korte said: “Hancock Prospecting’s pioneering spirit is backed by a strong history of successfully partnering in innovative solutions to meet the needs of customers.
“We believe Carbelec can be an important part of a future low-cost energy mix, allowing industries such as steel, cement and even current day baseload power generators to continue to lift the living standards of people in Australia and worldwide.”
Picture: Dr Kevin Li, Senior Lecturer Department of Chemical Engineering; Professor Robin Batterham, Melbourne School of Engineering and Dr Ali Zavabeti, Department of Chemical Engineering.
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