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Circular economy researcher to trace plastic textile and refrigerant materials

Among three University of Wollongong researchers awarded funding through the Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) Scheme is Associate Research Fellow Dr Elyse Stanes, awarded $449,335 over the next three years. According to a statement from UoW, Stanes will conduct research into the circular economy “and how to build capacity to manage materials that are unseen, toxic, or difficult to locate, separate or repurpose.” An estimated 90 billion tonnes of materials are used globally to sustain industry and contemporary lifestyles, according to the statement, with approximately 90 per cent becoming waste. Stanes’s project will trace two materials – plastic textiles and air-conditioning refrigerants – and examine where these materials go and where they end up, aiming to create knowledge to better manage difficult waste streams and improve resource reuse.

Works begin on Kwinana clinker terminal 

A ground-breaking ceremony has been held for a new $55m clinker import facility at the Kwinana Bulk Terminal, the only location in Western Australia to access the commodity used in the manufacture of cement. “Clinker is an immensely important product imported through the Port of Fremantle, as it ends up in every cubic metre of concrete and cement used in domestic and industrial construction throughout the State,” said state development minister Roger Cook. According to a statement from the WA government, the facility will include a bulk storage dome – able to store around 40,000 tonnes of clinker – and a conveyor linking the terminal to the adjacent Cockburn Cement operations. Clinker is also imported by BGC Group for use in cement-making. Commissioning of the facility is expected to take place in 2024.

Archer reports more progress in quantum chip production

Sydney company Archer Materials has reported it has achieved on-chip electronic transport in qubit components that could be used in future quantum computers. The company, which is developing a room temperature quantum computing qubit processing chip, said the integration of qubit material in an electrically controllable conducting circuit was fundamental to the chip’s development. A qubit is equivalent to a bit of information but for quantum devices which store information at a sub-atomic level. Archer CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair said: “The achievement is a significant step in Archer’s CQ chip development and paves the way for progress in our efforts aimed at qubit readout in chip-based devices.”

Eden Innovations raises $1 million

Carbon fibre nanotube concrete additive company Eden Innovations has raised $1 million through a share placement with sophisticated and institutional investors. The company, which has made inroads into the North American transport infrastructure market, will use the funds for general working capital. It will supplement existing cash reserves and revenue being generated from sales.

Qld government announces “world’s biggest” pumped hydro scheme

The Queensland government announced plans for two new pumped hydro projects at Pioneer/Burdekin and Borumba Dam to be completed by 2035 as part of its $62 billion Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan. Deputy premier Steven Miles said the two new pumped hydro facilities would be bigger than the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric scheme. “We will use cheap solar electricity during the day to pump water up the mountain to store it,” he said. “Then at night we can release the water to generate electricity. It’s like a giant battery.” According to the statement, the new dam in the Pioneer Valley near Mackay will supply half of Queensland’s entire energy needs.

TAS Showcase features world-first autonomous vessel demo

Ten autonomous vessels participated in the Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS) Maritime Showcase this week, in what was “the first significant commercial demonstration of multiple autonomous vessels in Australia”, according to the Australian Institute of Marine Science. AIMS held the showcase at its tropical marine technology test range, ReefWorks, near Townsville, with the autonomous vessels completing an obstacle course, avoiding collisions, and reacting to low visibility.  One demonstrated surveying a marina, avoiding moored yachts. BTB Marine, James Cook University, Unique Group, and AIMS with static displays provided by L3 Harris, Ocius and EdgeROV. Regulatory approval was provided by AMSA and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, both represented at the event.

Picture: Eden Innovations

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