Mineral Carbonation International launches after COP26 business pitch victory | Cootamundra Herald

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Sophia Hamblin Wang was informed that the Australian Government would grant her a dispensation to travel to Glasgow three days before the start of the International Climate Conference, a lucky result for both parties as the Canberra company became one of the country’s biggest summit successes. Located in the Australian pavilion among exhibits from Santos, the country’s second largest oil and gas producer, and Fortescue, the fourth largest iron ore producer in the world, Mrs Hamblin Wang estimates she gave her clean energy pitch to Mineral Carbonation International around 6000 times. Interest rose after the 33-year-old Canberran beat 2,700 worldwide competitors in a competition for best business pitch on day three of the summit. “So it was a crazy day for me,” she said. After a breakfast with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Minister for Emission Reduction Angus Taylor and top executives of many of the largest companies in Australia, where “we were the only startup in the field of clean tech represented”, Mrs Hamblin Wang gave her winning pitch. “There was then a reception for the pitch match, where we met all the investors who wanted to start initial discussions that day,” she said. After another meeting with Mr Taylor and Australia’s High Commissioner for the United Kingdom, George Brandis, along with around 150 influential Australians, Mrs Hamblin Wang gave an online keynote speech in Sydney at. 23.30. “And because we won the track battle, it just caused this tidal wave of interest,” she said. Although the worldwide recognition may be recent, MCI has been around since 2013. It was founded by Canberra entrepreneurs John Beever and Mrs. Hamblin Wang’s stepbrother Marcus Dawe. With a pilot plant at the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources, the company operates a low-energy chemical engineering process that converts CO2 emissions from industrial sources into solid materials. The technology takes CO2 from industrial operations and mixes it with raw materials such as mining waste. By speeding up the Earth’s natural carbon dioxide addition process, products such as calcium and magnesium carbonates and silica are created. The products can be converted into building materials, including glass, concrete and fiberglass. READ MORE: Its mission is to eliminate 1 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2040 by focusing on the sectors that are difficult to mitigate. “We have really focused on helping decarbonise those industries that do not have clear paths to do otherwise,” Ms Hamblin Wang said. “So the steel industry. Many people do not know that you need metallurgical coal to get up to 1600 degrees to create steel, there is no alternative.” They are developing hydrogen routes, but it is still decades away. And then also cement; when cement is actually created, it releases CO2, it is part of the chemical process. “So those are the two basic parts of our infrastructure future that have no roads.” Dawe said new manufacturing processes were at least 10 years away, so MCI focused on the transition. “Every tonne of CO2 coming into our atmosphere right now is causing climate change, so we have to stop it,” he said. “You don’t just get to 2050 and suddenly say, ‘Right, now we’re off.’ It’s about, ‘How do you get there?’” With the victory on the business pitch leading to rows of people queuing up to find out about the company at COP26, including Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, who had to hurry, Mrs Hamblin Wang said it felt , that they returned to Canberra this week as if they were on the verge of something big. “We have been absolutely thrown up on the world stage,” she said. “We are experiencing a moment of exponential growth.” In two weeks, the company’s Linkedin has seen an increase of 17,000 per cent. Each post receives about 10,000 views, Mr Dawe said. After receiving a $ 14.6 million grant recently to build a Newcastle plant, the company will build a modular plant that can be picked up and taken to steel, cement or nickel mines. “We’re looking at three key places next – Gladstone, Illawarra and Kalgoorlie – but that’s not exhaustive,” she said. “We are researching our next project right now and it will probably be one of five places – Japan, the EU, the US, Canada or maybe Singapore.”


November 21, 2021 – at 05.30

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