Lodges New Provisional Patent Application
- Provisional patent application lodged with the Australian Patent Office
- Incorporates finished product technology
- Global Intellectual Property search completed
o Altech's kaolin to HPA HCL processing route is unique
o There is no risk of patent infringement by Altech
- Altech's patent applications afford international protection for its HPA production method
The new patent application expands on a previously lodged patent application titled 'A Method for the Preparation of Alumina', which was filed by Altech in October 2014. The existing patent application describes Altech's method of preparing alumina from aluminous material, including kaolin. The new patent application incorporates various refinements made to the Company's HPA processing route during project due diligence, and incorporates the Company's latest invention, the flexible finished product line that is capable of producing HPA product for both the synthetic sapphire industry (high density pellets) and HPA for the lithium-ion battery industry (powder at sub-micron particle size).
The new patent application covers the following steps:
1. treating aluminous material to reduce particle size and increase the alumina content;
2. calcining the aluminous material;
3. leaching the aluminous material with hydrochloric acid;
4. solid liquid separation to provide a pregnant liquor;
5. crystallising aluminium chloride hexahydrate by adding hydrogen chloride gas;
6. precipitating and separation of aluminium chloride hexahydrate;
7. dissolving the aluminium chloride hexahydrate in water and repeating the crystallisation process;
8. roasting and calcining aluminium chloride hexahydrate to provide alumina; and
9. finishing alumina in either a high density bead or fine alumina powder
In addition, Altech is pleased to report that as part of project due diligence initiated by KfW IPEX-Bank, a global freedom to operate search was conducted to confirm that the Company will be free to produce, market, sell or otherwise distribute HPA manufactured by its unique process. The search involve the detailed review of existing alumina manufacturing patents and was conducted by Wrays Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys (Wrays), a highly regarded Australian firm specialising in patent and trade mark law.
The search was conducted across a database covering over 100 patent authorities containing over 60 million patent records. It involved identifying all patents or patent applications in the field of alumina preparation and all patents and patent applications covered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation. The search covered key market countries and areas such as Australia, People's Republic of China, Canada, Federal Republic of Germany, Europe, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Japan, Republic of India, Korea, Russian Federation, Taiwan, United States of America and Malaysia.
The results of the global search confirmed Altech's unique manufacturing process (Intellectual Property). Wrays did not identify any patent or patent application that could assert to prevent the production of HPA by Altech using its unique process in Malaysia, nor prevent the marketing, selling or distributing its HPA, or products containing its HPA, globally.
The search confirmed Altech's view that its IP for producing HPA from kaolin/aluminous material using its hydrochloric acid-based processing technology is unique, and that any other party that employs a similar process to produce HPA would most likely be in breach of Altech's patent applications.
About Altech Chemicals Ltd
HPA is a high-value, high margin and highly demanded product as it is the critical ingredient required for the production of synthetic sapphire. Synthetic sapphire is used in the manufacture of substrates for LED lights, semiconductor wafers used in the electronics industry, and scratch-resistant sapphire glass used for wristwatch faces, optical windows and smartphone components. There is no substitute for HPA in the manufacture of synthetic sapphire.
Global HPA demand is approximately 25,315tpa (2016) and demand is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.7% (2016-2024), primarily driven by the growth in worldwide adoption of LEDs. As an energy efficient, longer lasting and lower operating cost form of lighting, LED lighting is replacing the traditional incandescent bulbs.
Altech Chemicals Ltd