Sparc Technologies closer to commercialising graphene-based environmental remediation technology following US patent

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By Lorna Nicholas - 
Sparc Technologies ASX SPN patent graphene remediation environment contaminants mercury arsenic heavy metals

Sparc Technologies’ graphene-based environmental remediation intellectual property is now protected in the US.


Sparc Technologies (ASX: SPN) has collared the US patent for its graphene-based environmental remediation technology, paving the way for commercialisation plans to progress.

According to Sparc, the US patent grants the company exclusive access to graphene’s unique ability to act in a porous matrix to remove heavy metal ions from liquid or gas.

Previous research with graphene-based material has demonstrated “high performance and efficiency” when applied in this manner.

“The granting of this patent further enhances Sparc’s technology portfolio in the area of sustainability and waste remediation whilst complimenting the work being undertaken with Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS),” Sparc managing director and chief executive officer Mike Bartels said.

“The versatile class of graphene-based materials covered under this patent presents an opportunity to develop solutions for a wide range of high-impact environmental contaminants such as mercury and arsenic.”

Commercialisation plans

Mr Bartels said securing the patent for the IP created value and enables the company to advance discussions with commercial partners to further develop the technology.

As well as PFAS, mercury and arsenic, Sparc is looking at using this technology to remove organic species from liquids and gas in an attempt to mediate the environmental challenges that exist today.

Pollution of water and air continues to be a critical environmental concern worldwide.

PFAS research

With this technology, Sparc is hoping to build on the “significant work” it has already completed regarding remediation of PFAS contaminants.

In late April, Sparc revealed its graphene-based absorption materials in water contaminated with PFAS had performed better than an industry leading activated carbon treatment.

This work yielded similar results to previous tests in partnership with the University of Adelaide. The research with University of Adelaide found Sparc’s graphene-based material was up to twice as effective at absorbing PFAS than activated carbon.

PFAS are man-made chemicals that have drastic environmental impact – contaminating soil and water through their use in industrial applications.

The chemicals remain in the environment for years after use and have been found to accumulate in the human body over time.

Exposure to these chemicals can contribute to cancer, tumours, hormone disruptions, and have a negative impact on the immune system.