3 July 2012 – A greenhouse gas analyser, designed at the University of Wollongong, is going commercial to meet surging demand for the product.

The university has decided to commercialise the “Spectronus” in partnership with Australian environmental monitoring solutions manufacturer, Ecotech.

The Spectronus was first developed in 2002 by the university’s School of Chemistry and is already in use in Australian government departments and organisations including the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Victoria’s Department of Sustainability and Environment and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

  • Photo: Left to right: Professor David Griffith, with Ecotech’s Nicholas dal Sasso and Viral Chitronda

Internationally, the $200,000 analyser is already used by government organisations and universities in Germany, France, China, South Korea and New Zealand.

However to meet growing demand, Ecotech has started manufacturing the analyser in Australia and will distribute it via its worldwide network under a licensing agreement with the University of Wollongong.

The university says the Spectronus leads the market in its ability to deliver a high-precision, real-time analysis of the major greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide and water vapour.

The analyser’s hardware is complemented by powerful operating software which provides a flexible, fully-automated system that can be remotely controlled.

University of Wollongong commercialisation manager Gavin Dixon said the partnership would make a huge difference to the scale of production of the Spectronus.

Mr Dixon said while the university, which was not a manufacturer, could produce perhaps two a year, Ecotech had the ability to produce many more – and keep up with demand.

“When we started in 2002 the market was probably 20 organisations, now the market has expanded to 300 to 400 around the world,” he said.

The demand had come from governments and greenhouse gas organisations around the world becoming more aware of the need for analysers and greenhouse gas emissions along with the product being validated in 2009, he said.

Mr Dixon said those showing interest included government organisations and research institutes and could expand, one day, to big business.

“This is the Rolls Royce version,” he said. “There are cheaper versions available from $5000 to $10,000, or $50,000 to $100,000.”

Mr Dixon said the Spectronus had proved popular so far in Europe and Asia where there were stronger government controls in relation to greenhouse gas emission.

“The big untapped market is the US,” he said. “But there is also a very competitive market there.”

University of Wollongong Research Team head Professor David Griffith said policy decisions based on climate change research demanded highly accurate and repeatable data for all greenhouse gases, not just CO².

“In a world first, the Spectronus simultaneously measures important greenhouse gases, making it highly sought after by governments and their agencies.

“We are excited by the opportunity to meet global demand for this Australian invention through our partnership with Ecotech.”