Date: Apr 11, 2018

With the world embarking on a potential Third Industrial Revolution, according to one well-known economic advisor to China and the European Union, Jeremy Rifkin, the landscape for the commodities of today may well not be the commodities of tomorrow. Rifkin recently said:

“Premier Xi read my book … and he then instructed China to move to a Third Industrial Revolution … GDP is slowing all over the world … it is over for fossil fuels … the next big bubble will be the US$100 trillion in stranded assets in the fossil fuel industry that will make the subprime 08 like the small game,”

This is where billionaire mining entrepreneur, Robert Friedland may well be ahead of the curve problem solving for the Third Industrial Revolution. Robert has always been worth following. He has been recognised by the Mining Journal, as one of the most influential people shaping the future of the world of mining. BMO Capital Markets Metals, Co-Head, Egizio Bianchini, has known Friedland since 1984 and says of him:

“He’s a dreamer and the glass is always half-full. He sees things way before others do – he’s early.”

In this wire, we explore 5 commodities that Robert Friedland is currently working on and how they might influence a new paradigm shift in the impending energy revolution.

Water

“Just like butter is the new kale, water is the new oil. We think water is going to become one of the most valuable commodities in the world,” Robert has said.

According to Hexa research, the global water and wastewater market is forecast to reach $674 billion, by 2025 (growing at 7% pa), driven by the rising demand for freshwater for drinking, industrialization and agriculture.

Robert is involved in two ventures related to water, through his private company I-Pulse and ASX listed Clean Teq Holdings Ltd. Clean Teq (ASX: CLQ) has a partnership with Ionic Industries and Monash University following a Federal Government funding allocation, to develop energy efficient wastewater treatment technology using graphene oxide technology. The graphene technologies being developed include a graphene oxide nano-filtration membrane and graphene oxide coated sand that aims to supersede activated carbon as an absorbent material.

CLQ also has a strategic partnership with Pengxin Mining, a private Chinese conglomerate based in Shanghai with interests in mining, real estate, construction, water-treatment, technology and dairy farms. According to ASX announcements, Pengxin is the largest shareholder in Shanghai-listed Heilongjiang Interchina Water Treatment Co Ltd, one of China’s largest publicly-traded water treatment companies and is working with Clean Teq to support rapid development of their business.

Vanadium

“We think there’s a revolution coming in vanadium redox flow batteries,” says Friedland.

He goes on to say “The beauty of the vanadium redox battery is that you can charge and discharge it at the same time, something that can’t be done with a lithium battery. With a vanadium redox flow battery, you can put solar power and wind power into the battery, and you can put excess grid power into the battery at night, and at the same time you can have a stable output into the grid.”

A Vanadium redox battery, is a flow battery with electricity storage technology to support a more efficient, reliable, and cleaner electrical energy market. The Chinese Government, recently issued a policy document, “Guidance on the Promotion of Energy Storage Technology and Industry Development”, which called for more investment in energy storage, including flow batteries – $320b by 2020.

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