NORWOOD, Australia — Two South Australian companies have joined forces to create a start-up specializing in the research and development of a naturally occurring nanoparticle.

Natural Nanotech Pty Ltd., jointly owned by Minotaur Exploration and Andromeda Metals, will research the conversion of naturally occurring halloysite-kaolin clays into high-value nanomaterials.

Halloysite is a naturally occurring but rare tubular-shaped derivative of kaolin. The natural nanotubes can be used in a wide variety of new technologies including water purification, energy storage, hydrogen storage, carbon capture and medical/pesticide carriers. They are a far more cost-effective and environmentally friendly version of manufactured carbon nanotubes.

With the rest of the world’s supply of natural halloysite limited, South Australia is home to large deposits near Streaky Bay. Natural Nanotech has tapped into these natural assets to provide quantities of halloysite for research and development and eventual commercial testing by potential end users.

Natural Nanotech’s first project is to develop commercially attractive solutions to two of the world’s most pressing problems – carbon capture from the atmosphere and selective capture of pollutants from water. Already successfully demonstrated at the laboratory scale by the nanotechnology team at University of Newcastle, a larger program of up-scaled test work at industrial sites and commercialization trials is now planned. Another project underway is research into the use of halloysite for safe storage of hydrogen. If successful, it could position Australia as the dominant global manufacturer and supplier of a new product with diverse environmental applications.

For more information on Natural Nanotech and its project, contact Tony Belperio at 08/8132.3400.