RockTron wins top IChemeE award

Nov. 5, 2009
BRISTOL, UK, Nov. 5, 2009 -- RockTron, the pioneering new eco-mineral technology company, beat 48 other shortlisted entrants to win IChemE's most prestigious International Innovation and Excellence Award...

BRISTOL, UK, Nov. 5, 2009 -- RockTron, the pioneering new eco-mineral technology company, beat 48 other shortlisted entrants, including BP, Anglo American, BASF, GlaxoSmithKline and many internationally renowned universities to win IChemE's most prestigious International Innovation and Excellence Award.

Held at York in the UK, the 2009 IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) Awards attracted a record number of entries from over 20 countries. Rank outsider, RockTron Limited won the new IChemE Nicklin Medal for the most outstanding entry across all eleven categories, in recognition of their significant contribution to the Chemical and Process Engineering Industry, for their breakthrough in Fly Ash Beneficiation. It employs a "froth flotation" technique that uses water as part of the separation process to convert the fly ash waste from boiler feedwater operations into other reusable products. The state-of-the-art process, along with FGD (Flue Gas Desulfurization), significantly reduces the pollution created by coal-fired power stations.

This is the first year the Nicklin Medal has been awarded -- created in memory of Professor Don Nicklin, former IChemE Australia Chairman and Head of Chemical Engineering at Queensland University, Australia. RockTron's co-founder and Technical Director, Philip Michael received a standing ovation, as Professor Nicklin's two sons: Jack and Ben presented him with IChemE's top award. When asked how he had maintained his determination over the past 20 years, Philip Michael replied:

"My partner, Dr John Watt and I had no idea how hard this was going to be when we started out. Our families had total confidence in us throughout, even when everyone else said it couldn't be done. One day my daughter gave me a t-shirt, which simply said: DAD'S PIG CAN FLY! After that, I was dammed if I was going to give up and together, John and I have now made RockTron a reality!"

RockTron was also shortlisted for the Sustainable Technology Award, based on its new eco-mineral plant at Fiddler's Ferry in Cheshire, UK. The plant is unique in that it can process both fresh AND stockpiled coal-fired power station waste -- transforming it into 100% recycled eco-minerals with no waste or effluent. This exciting new technology uses pneumatic flotation cells, specifically designed for fine particle separation on an industrial scale.

RockTron's eco-minerals offer a wealth of exciting new applications, serving as functional fillers in rubbers and plastics, giving improved physical properties including sound absorption, electrical conductivity, EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) / RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) shielding, improved wear resistance for components and coatings, intumescent coatings and micro-biocides. The spherical particles can also be used in cement and concrete manufacturing or coated to change their surface chemistry for use in paints & coatings, flooring, plastics, elastomers, thermoplastics, thermosets, tyre manufacturing and electronics.

Chemical and process engineers play a vital role in the manufacture of essential products we all use in our daily lives: everything from clean drinking water to synthetic fibres and pharmaceuticals. RockTron's claims about its high performance eco-minerals are backed by independent research. They are expected to cut both manufacturing costs and carbon emissions, something that clearly impressed the IChemE judges who, it seems, now also believe pigs can fly!

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