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Revolutionary mining project wins 2019 Curtinnovation Awards

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Melissa Sheil
// // A technological invention that can potentially save millions for Australia's oil and gas industry took out the top prize at the 2019 Curtinnovation Awards.

// A technological invention that can potentially save millions for Australia’s oil and gas industry took out the top prize at the 2019 Curtinnovation Awards.

With an design inspired by nature, SpiroPak works to provide a more effective and energy-efficient separation of carbon dioxide from natural gas in LNG processing.

Developed and prototyped by Dr Tejas Bhatelia and a team of researchers at Curtin’s Western Australian School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering using the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre and 3D printing, the design exhibits the exact sort of pioneering spirit the Awards aims to celebrate.

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Moran believes this project will make waves in its respective industry.

“SpiroPak has the potential to save Australia’s globally competitive and strategically important oil and gas industry millions of dollars every year by creating significant efficiencies in LNG processing” said Professor Moran.

Revolutionary mining project wins 2019 Curtinnovation Awards
Top honours: The SpiroPak team.

Curtin inspires the entrepreneurial spirit

“The Curtinnovation Awards aim to identify new technologies, products and services arising from the University’s world-class research and the standard of innovations being created continues to impress every year,” said Professor Moran.

Professor Moran said the other award winners demonstrated the University’s endeavour to transform research outcomes into successful products that can benefit their fields.

“Other winning projects include a device that highlights energy consumption in the family home by using a simple light display to show the real-time status of a household’s energy balance, and a thermal battery that enables low-cost storage of energy at generation sites and across the electricity grid,” Professor Moran said.

Not just celebrating the sciences

The awards are not only limited to the science faculties but recognise exceptional research outcomes that begin the process of translation into new products and services across all areas.

The best projects from the faculties of Science and Engineering, Health Sciences, Business and Law and Humanities, as well as Learning and Teaching are awarded in their individual categories, in conjunction to the overall winner.

“Further successful projects include an initiative that allows organisations to create strategies and action plans to enhance employee wellbeing, a processing technique that creates a new high protein food ingredient for use in vegetarian and vegan food products and a web app that semi-automates the screening of thousands of academic papers by academics and researchers, reducing screening time from hundreds of hours to just a few.”


The 2019 awards shared a prize pool of more than $30,000. Winners of the 2019 Curtinnovation Awards were announced on Friday 20 September 2019. View the winners here.

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Picture of Melissa Sheil

Melissa Sheil

Melissa is a journalist, currently based in Europe. She has experience writing about the Australian music scene, parenting and real estate.
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