Hub Chief Investigators Professor Russell Varley and Dr Mandy De Souza, along with fellow Deakin researcher Dr Jane Zhang and collaborators from PETRONAS and the University of Adelaide were awarded the IChemE Malaysia Awards 2020 Oil and Gas Award for their project Metal Organic Framework as Self-Healing Catalyst during the organisation’s first ever virtual ceremony.

Professor Russell Varley, Dr Jane Zhang and Dr Mandy De Souza

The team developed a novel self-healing epoxy that delivers a highly robust and reliable performance when added to the interior of steel pipes in oil field operations. These methods ensure the integrity of materials during operation, which could lead to longer service life of the materials and cost avoidance for maintenance and inspection by about 80 per cent.

Professor Varley said this win is a recognition of the novel and sustainable aspects of this research and showcases the importance of this technology for better futures.

“This technology developed in conjunction with PETRONAS and Professor Christian Doonan from the University of Adelaide, has the potential to extend service life, reduce consumption and improve resource efficiencies in infrastructure applications.”

Importantly, this technology offers a better performing and sustainable alternative by replacing the precious rare-earth-based catalyst and preserving the Earth’s resources. Now with an economically viable option, this work has addressed the main challenge of current microencapsulation healing technologies for generations to come.

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