EcoMag - high purity magnesium and a cleaner environment

Past project

EcoMag has launched a range of new high purity magnesium products following UNSW analysis and modelling to test the company's novel processing techniques.  

Problem

EcoMag is a Sydney based SME that extracts high purity magnesium from the concentrated brines generated by sea salt production before releasing a more environmentally benign stream into the ocean. EcoMag produces a range of magnesium compounds for industrial, environmental, and specialty applications from this high purity magnesium.

EcoMag was in the advanced stages of commercialising a novel process for recovering high purity magnesium compounds when they approached UNSW to conduct analysis and modelling required to successfully launch their new techniques into the market.

EcoMag's CEO Tony Crimmins has a long history of innovation and collaborative R&D. Tony's experimental and open-minded approach to R&D set the project up for success.

"We do nebulous projects, projects that don't have an immediate effect, but they allow us to explore. As long as you're open to the expectations changing, which we are. We actually hope for expectations to change, that leads us to something tremendous."

Solution

The Tech Voucher project included life cycle analysis and modelling to determine the CO2 equivalent emissions from EcoMag's processes. From this data, EcoMag developed alternative strategies to produce material of equivalent purity.

"Universities, for me, are an extremely important source of new technologies and knowledge.  For this EcoMag project, I needed UNSW to use their expertise to help me mould things into a format that was even more explosive."

Impact

EcoMag has experienced a range of commercial successes after the TechVoucher Project, including developing a new product and entering new markets. Since the project, EcoMag has become embedded in the UNSW innovation ecosystem; EcoMag has employed many UNSW students and academics and is exploring a range of further projects.

"We try to use the university as much as possible. We have worked with the university to assist us in doing different things, different reactions, and different processes. We're doing this through the whole company."

EcoMag has also developed mutually beneficial relationships throughout the UNSW network. What started with a small Tech Voucher project has expanded into more extensive research projects and business networking relationships.  

"The university does have networks with businesses. So one thing is that they allowed us to expand out and talk to other businesses. No ideas are developed in isolation; they're done in collaboration."

Tony Crimmins, CEO, EcoMag