Australian innovator Altech Chemicals Ltd. said yesterday that it has received a long-awaited patent for its unique process for producing high-purity alumina (HPA) from kaolin.
Per Altech, the patent, which is for “A Method for the Preparation of Alumina,” covers the company’s innovative method for refining aluminous clay into HPA by using hydrochloric acid, crystallizing it with hydrogen chlorine gas, precipitating the resulting aluminium chloride hexahydrate, dissolving it in water, and calcining aluminium chloride hexahydrate to produce HPA.
Iggy Tan, Altech’s managing director, greeted the news as a positive for the company and its ability to protect its intellectual property.
“The journey to patent grant was quite arduous. We commenced the process in 2014 and have now received the Certificate of Grant – 4 years later. The patent will help protect the Company’s unique HPA production process and the technology that we have developed.
“Over the past 18 months it has been quite frustrating to read a number public announcements from other companies aiming to be HPA producers that have included HPA process flow diagrams that appeared to be blatant copies of Altech’s process – some even using the same unique icons developed by the Company. Now that this patent is granted, Altech is in strong position to defend its intellectual property rights with the assistance of WRAYS, our patent attorney.”
Altech Chemicals is based in Subiaco, Western Australia and is attempting to implement a marketable process for delivering 99.99% (4N) HPA using conventional equipment at a lower production cost than methods currently available. It plans to construct a 4,500 metric ton per annum HPA plant at Tanjung Langsat Industrial Complex, Johor, Malaysia that will use kaolin clay from a company-owned mine in Meckering, Western Australia. The firm is fast-tracking HPA production due to an agreement with Mitsubishi for 100% of its proposed HPA production for ten years. At present, Altech intends to commence project development later this year.