Infratech Industries is a Sydney based start-up focused on providing innovative solutions in energy, waste and water management. The company developed the world's first floating solar system for waste water treatment plants, and they are currently building a first-of-its-kind "6 star green star passive house" rated multi-residential dwelling.
However, Infratech Industries' installations required energy storage, oxygen production and thermal controls, so the innovative company sought assistance with researching and developing novel, sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions.
Having previously been a recipient of an AusIndustry Researcher in Business grant, Infratech was experienced in partnering with university researchers to improve and progress their technology.
Through the STEM+ Business program facilitated by the SME Connect team, Infratech was introduced to Dr Hui Song, a research associate at University of Newcastle (UoN) with a recently completed PhD focused on Chemical Looping Combustion and Air Separation under the leadership of Prof Behdad Mogtaderi, a leading authority on Chemical Looping.
Hui's experience working with the Priority Research Centre for Frontier Energy Technology and Utilisation within the UoN, and his prior study at the Shenyang Institute of Aeronautical Engineering in China where he completed his MEng., made him an excellent candidate for this Infratech STEM+ Business partnership.
Together, Prof Mogtaderi, Hui and Infratech embarked on a STEM+ Business research project focused on advanced materials for energy storage, complementing an existing project between Infratech and UoN, to develop a prototype Chemical Looping Energy Storage (CLEST) system.
During the program Hui spent time learning about the floating solar installation to understand how a CLES device would best work in that context. He also integrated with the existing Infratech sub-teams to understand how his research would interplay with the wider company operations. Additionally, Hui’s mentorship by Infratech's CEO, Dr Rajesh Nellore, provided him with an opportunity to learn how to fit his research to market needs.
The UoN affiliation meant that Hui was able to access the full and substantial equipment and resources offered by PRCfFETU at the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources to support his research.
The STEM+ Business project boosted research delivery to Infratech, and the company is now very keen to implement the CLEST technology as soon as feasible and develop and sell high performance CLEST systems that can be retrofitted to existing buildings, treatment plants, solar and wind farms, and process industry installations.
"The program has been very beneficial in terms of advancing our Energy on Demand System in collaboration with the University of Newcastle. The rigor and prestige of the STEM+ program process has ensured a good team supported by the University and especially Prof Behdad Mogtaderi who is a pioneer in the field of Chemical Looping. We are hoping that our system will change the way consumers look at power – from an expense to an income generator."
— Rajesh Nellore, CEO Infratech Industries Pty Ltd
"The program provided me a real opportunity to solve an important challenge faced globally by consumers of power. My co-supervisors Prof Moghtaderi and Dr Nellore helped guide me through the complex process of researching, analysing and developing the CLES system which will be a reality and help provide power and oxygen for a fraction of the price based on several streams of Science and Engineering."
— Hui Song, Researcher, University of Newcastle
This program is supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF).
For further information and to apply, please get in touch with our dedicated STEM+ Business Manager.
Find out more and apply
Mr Jason Barkla
Manager - Industrial Readiness Programs (SCIENCE CONNECT)