Success story: Direct air capture technology

Southern Green Gas was founded by Rohan Gillespie in 2018, after he identified a gap in the energy processes and technology that was being used to make use of carbon in a positive light.

The company has developed Direct Air Capture (DAC) technologies that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and make it available for subsequent sequestration, or as a component in several sustainable production pathways. This includes being transformed into renewable fuels.

Its success has attracted investment from former Australian Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AC, who will provide counsel on policy and commercialisation of its technology.

ARM Hub is playing an integral role in the scaling and growth of Southern Green Gas, as it looks to commercialise its product for companies the world over to use.

The industry challenge

Carbon dioxide is at 420ppm in our atmosphere – the highest level ever recorded. While government and industry have set emission targets, they are designed to reduce future emissions. They do not address the existing rates of carbon dioxide.

Southern Green Gas set out to reduce current emissions to a healthy goal (below 400ppm) and to build a solution that ensures carbon dioxide can be repurposed, or sequestered underground and locked away, essentially forever.

The solution

Southern Green Gas, in partnership with University of Sydney, has found a way to not only capture the carbon dioxide, but also to sequester it or include it in sustainable products.

This includes working to minimise the energy demand so it can operate in remote, arid areas of Australia, or overseas without infrastructure support.

The team is now working to commercialise its technology in a way that’s cost-effective for potential customers.

Southern Green Gas is working closely with AspiraDAC to complete the DAC module at ARM Hub.

The company has built a triangular module (DAC Tent) on a square base, which contains a series of canisters and houses solar panels for sustainable energy supply.

It works as a technology tree, drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Air is passed over a specific surface coating, in canisters, capturing the carbon dioxide until a desorption phase releases the concentrated gas for further use.

It can be immediately sequestered underground, or stored for subsequent use in the production of e-fuels, as a food additive or as a supplement for enhanced horticulture.


Southern Green Gas is building three of its module units at ARM Hub’s state-of-the-art Brisbane facility.

The next step is to upgrade the design based on the learnings from the current module, before starting to build the units at scale for commercial production and sale.

Southern Green Gas is also looking at opportunities to deploy the DAC modules in arid locations that have low traditional economic value, yet high solar presence.

The company is very aware that for CO2 to be reduced from our current unsustainable levels, we must address the carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, not just what is planned to be emitted in future.

Partnering with ARM Hub

The team was introduced to ARM Hub through a business associate at a time when the company was looking for a space to continue to build and test its module.

As a tenant, the company has had the opportunity to work collaboratively with ARM Hub’s world-leading experts and advisors in robotics, artificial intelligence, and design.

ARM Hub has also offered extensive, high-value networking opportunities; with its reputation as a leader in advanced manufacturing, ARM Hub regularly hosts international, national, and state industry and government delegations.

Southern Green Gas has leveraged ARM Hub’s network to identify key university contacts that have assisted with the company’s technology focus. The ARM Hub international community also provided specific expertise.

Locally, the facilities in the ARM Hub have been a bonus to Southern Green Gas with meeting venues and administrative support.

The challenge of recycling lithium batteries

Did you know that only a small percentage of lithium batteries are recycled, with most ending up in landfill?

One of the main barriers is their casing, says Vaulta CEO and founder, Dominic Spooner.

Speaking at our Academic and Industry Engagement event this week, Dominic said the Brisbane company was overcoming this major industry challenge.

“The penny drop moment was finding out recycling of lithium batteries was near non-existent and the way they were packaged had a significant impact,” Dominic said.

“Without better battery casing, we’re going to have a real problem with longer-term aspects of how the industry works.

“Relying on batteries that end up in landfill is not a sustainable way to roll out renewables.

“People are going to become frustrated with battery manufacturers, just like they are now with the coal industry.

“We have the opportunity to get this right before the problem hits hard. We can solve this right now – and Vaulta is doing that.”

Vaulta, one of our newest Members, is manufacturing new batteries that can be dissembled for recycling and repair (in the field, if necessary).

“We are proud to champion locally made content. For us, being ‘local’ means more than just a label, it means manufacturing everything we can right here in Queensland.

“By encouraging local production, we not only support our community but also reduce reliance on offshore sources, promoting sustainable economic growth.”

Fast facts about lithium batteries

  • Queensland’s waste reduction targets for 2050 include 75% recycling rates across all waste types, and for 90% of waste to recovered instead of going to landfill. Currently, Australia’s battery recycling rate is 3%, and 9% worldwide.
  • The International Energy Agency predicts that by 2030, there would be 145 million electric cars on the roads, surging to a staggering 230 million if governments prioritise energy and climate goals.
  • Australia regularly follows EU regulations. The EU Battery Recycling Mandate states: “…Extended Producer Responsibility will start applying by mid-2025, with higher collection targets being introduced over time. For portable batteries, the targets will be 63% in 2027 and 73% in 2030, while for batteries with light means of transport, the target will be 51% in 2028 and 61% in 2031. All collected batteries have to be recycled and high levels of recovery have to be achieved, in particular of valuable materials such as copper, cobalt, lithium, nickel, and lead.

Academic and Industry Engagement events

These events are held quarterly at our facility and are designed to foster collaboration between academia and industry, and raise awareness of industry challenges.

Would you like to join the next one? Please email