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School of Engineering, Information Technology and Physical Sciences

Industrial ecology of potassium use in an advanced carbon industry in the Latrobe valley

Project Title:

Industrial ecology of potassium use in an advanced carbon industry in the Latrobe valley


Assoc. Professor Vince Verheyen

Contact person and email address:

A brief description of the project:

Potassium in various forms is required in potential future industries based around Victorian lignites. KOH used in the preparation of activated carbons from lignite needs to be recovered and recycled from the metallic forms present in activated carbon product. KOH is also required for production of KHumates while K carbonate and K sulfate can be used (UNO MkII) and/or generated (coCAPco) during CO2 capture. All of these processes require sources of potassium and produce wastes containing potassium. This project considers the industrial ecology of these processes and proposes pathways for use, recycling and reuse of potassium within and between these potential industries in the Latrobe Valley.

Available resources

  • Extensive knowledge and CCV reports describing the production of activated carbons using potassium from Victorian lignite
  • Autoclaves, standard reaction vessels and a tube furnace
  • Extensive analytical equipment for the characterisation of feed stocks, intermediates and products.

Potential industrial impact: Reduce the commercial, environmental and technical risks inherent in the production of activated carbons from Victorian Brown coal and/or potassium based emissions reduction technologies.
Potential industry partners: Brown Coal Innovation Australia
Technology Readiness Level 2.