HiPurA Processing Technology

ChemX Materials is developing HiPurA®, an innovative processing
technology to produce high-purity alumina (HPA). ChemX Materials owns 100% of
this process which is protected under an Australian patent.

Micro plant test work complete

Micro plant test work has confirmed that HiPurA® can produce above 4N (99.99%) pure HPA. It has also confirmed that HiPurA® is superior compared to alternative technologies, offering several advantages, including:

  • Lower costs – both capital and operating.
  • Independent feedstock – process is not tied to mine production and uses a readily available aluminous industrial chemical.
  • Easily scalable – production output can increase based on demand.
  • Modular – can be built near end users’ manufacturing operations.
  • Optionality – patented technology can be licenced to end users.
  • Lower carbon footprint – low energy intensity technology.

Australian patent granted

In January 2024, ChemX Materials was granted an Australian Patent for its innovative HiPurA® technology. Based on the success of the Australian patent, it is anticipated that ChemX Materials will be afforded similar protections in other international jurisdictions. The patent is important as it provides intellectual property protection as ChemX Materials seeks to commercialise the technology globally.

Pilot plant construction underway

Following the technical success of the micro plant, ChemX Materials is constructing a 24 tpa pilot plant in Western Australia. The pilot plant is expected to be operational in June 2024.

Commercialisation pathway

HPA production from the pilot plant will be used for customer qualification and marketing purposes. ChemX Materials is actively pursuing commercial opportunities globally. Commercialisation options include:

  • Build, own, operate a commercial scale plant to sell high purity alumina to end users.
  • Licence the HiPurA® technology for deployment at end users’ manufacturing locations.

HPA applications

HPA is high in purity and therefore high in value. It is known for its inert chemical stability and hardness, and good thermal conductivity, yet high electrical insulative properties.

These characteristics make it a highly sought after product for use in lithium-ion batteries, LED lighting and advanced electronics such as iPhones, smartwatches, screens and semiconductors.

HPA market growth is driven by consumer demand for advanced electronics and clean energy technologies. This has seen year-on-year growth in the HPA market worldwide. This growth is expected to continue in line with global trends for technology that is more energy efficient, less carbon intensive, portable and better connected.

What makes the HiPurA® superior to alternate methods?

Lower Cost

Expected to be low capital and operating costs.

Independent Feedstock

The process is not tied to mine production and uses a readily available aluminous industrial chemical.

Scalable

Production output can increase based on demand.

Modular

Can be built near end users’ manufacturing operations.

Supply Optionality

Patented technology can be licenced to end users or ChemX Materials can produce and supply high purity alumina products to market.

Low carbon footprint

The purification stages operate at ambient temperature.

Development timeframe:

  • Prefeasibility Study successfully completed Q3 ‘22

  • Micro plant capable of producing up to 5kg per day commissioned Q3 ‘22

  • Facility secured to house Micro plant and Pilot plant Q3 ‘22

  • Finalise Engineering and construction plan Q4 ‘22

  • Pilot plant completion and commissioning Q3 ‘23

  • Complete Commercial plant prefeasibility study Q4 ‘23

HPA is a precise pure form of aluminium oxide (Al2O3)

  • 99.99% (4N), <100 ppm of impurities main grade for Lithium battery separators.
  • 99.999% (5N), <10 ppm of impurities preferred grade for sapphire growers.
  • 99.9999% (6N), <1 ppm of impurities

HPA is chemically inert in most environments, has a very high melting point, doesn’t conduct electricity and is very abrasive. It is the only material that can be used to make synthetic sapphire.

Lithium Batteries

The fastest growing market for HPA is in lithium-ion batteries. The main use for HPA in lithium-ion batteries is in the coating of the separator between the anode and the cathode. Coating separators with HPA has been found to significantly improve safety and efficiency:

  • provides greater thermal stability to the battery, reducing the risk of batteries catching fires;and
  • improves battery life cycle and lowers self-discharge

The larger the battery, the greater the importance of thermal management becomes. This is very important when used in Electric Vehicles (EV’s) as battery safety is vital in ensuring vehicle safety.

Synthetic Sapphire

Synthetic sapphire is becoming more widely used in many developing new technologies. It is well established in LED and semiconductor markets and is increasingly used in optical and medical devices require the unique properties offered by sapphire.