16/10/2007 - 22:00

SmartBurn has it sights on Nth America

16/10/2007 - 22:00

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South West business, SmartBurn Pty Ltd, has raised industry profile in the past month after winning three national awards for its pollution reduction device used in wood heaters.

SmartBurn has it sights on Nth America

South West business, SmartBurn Pty Ltd, has raised industry profile in the past month after winning three national awards for its pollution reduction device used in wood heaters.

The company, which is based at Gelorup near Bunbury, won a national award for best technology in the recent My Business awards in Sydney, as well as two Australian Business Awards for environmental responsibility and innovation.

The company is also a finalist in this year’s WA Industry and Export Awards.

The product comprises a high-quality steel pipe and non-toxic ingredients, which absorb natural ingredients in domestic wood combustion fires to reduce haze and particle emissions.

It also reduces carbon emissions by trapping soot and sap in the fire, and acts as a chimney flue cleaner.

Industrial chemist and SmartBurn founder, Peter Hutchison, who is a former Western Power employee, designed the technology after witnessing a house fire caused by impurities lodged in a chimney.

“What the technology does is burn the sap in the fire before it travels up the chimney and creates a fire hazard,” Mr Hutchison said.

In 2005, the technology was manufactured and profiled on the ABC’s New Inventors program, after which SmartBurn secured two retailers in WA. 

The company now has 258 distributors in Australia and overseas, including hardware shops and supermarkets.

It recently began exporting to New Zealand, distributing through the Mitre 10 hardware chain, although Mr Hutchison said the timing had not been ideal because it coincided with the end of the winter season.

He said he planned to explore other markets for the product.

“We’re looking for a distributor in Canada at the moment and in due course we’ll be looking for someone in Europe and the US,” Mr Hutchison said.

However, he said the company was proceeding with its exporting program slowly.

“Like any new invention, you don’t really know if anyone will want it, so the last two years have been a trial,” Mr Hutchison said.  “We’re just doing one country at a time.”

The SmartBurn technology has been internationally patented since 2003 and is manufactured in the South West under licence.

Each SmartBurn cylinder lasts about three months and absorbs about 15 kilograms of smoke emissions.

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