Professor Jose Alarco

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Program Lead - Applied superconductivity / Energy storage systems

PhD in Material Science (Other)

Professor Alarco is a Materials Scientist, with a very strong foundation in Physics, Mathematics, solid-state materials synthesis and characterization. He is also very experienced in industrial research and development. He did his undergraduate studies in Physics at The National University of Engineering, Lima, Peru. He then continued his research qualifications in Sweden, where he was awarded a PhD in Materials Science from the Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology in 1994. After his PhD, he joined The Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, and Advanced Ceramics Development (ACD), The University of Queensland (UQ), where he played an active role in various applied and industrial R&D projects. These projects involved a range of materials and component developments for the electrical distribution industry, construction of an automated machine for complex metal oxide chemical production, and advanced materials for waste water treatment, among others. After 5 years working at UQ, he left The University to co-found ScienceWorks Consultants Pty Ltd (SWC), where he has been playing a technical, scientific and executive director’s role for about 12 years. The work at SWC has involved invention of new processing methods for homogeneous, nanoscale, complex metal oxides for one of SWC’s major clients, Very Small Particle Company Ltd. The process invention was taken all the way from lab concept to prototype plant at tonnage scale and then to design of commercial plants. The process invention, combined with the capability to produce at larger scale, created significant interest worldwide. Based on this invention, Professor Alarco has participated in a range of collaboration and commercial developments with large multinationals. He is co-author of various patents on complex metal oxide and nano materials processing and products, several of them with applications within catalysis and in battery materials. In 2011, he joined QUT as scientific consultant/Adjunct Professor to assist in establishing more collaborations with industry. Since 2013, he has become full-time Professorial Fellow at the Institute for Future Environments and the School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering, Science and Engineering Faculty. He is currently Chief Investigator in the Auto-CRC Project with the Malaysian Automotive Industry for Lithium Battery Manufacturing Scale-up and Process Optimisation, led by Professor Peter Talbot and awarded over $4,000,000 in late 2014.


Additional information

Professor Jose Alarco has been involved in R&D of battery and other nanotechnology materials for almost two decades, both within academic and commercial organizations. He has co-developed and holds numerous patents in generic processes for the manufacture of nano-scale complex, metal oxides and for applications in catalysis, batteries, electronics, etc. Much of his work has involved taking manufacturing processes from lab to pilot plant scale at tonnes per week level. After his PhD at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, he did a few years of Post-doctoral work at the University of Queensland (UQ). The projects he was involved in at UQ were part of significant industry collaborations and included designing chemical processes and translating the processes into semi-automated machines and making components for the electricity supply industry, among others. In around 2000, he left UQ to co-found Scienceworks Consultants (SWC), a small, highly capable scientific consulting company. Outcomes of SWC work have resulted in a portfolio of both process and product patents (listed below) for SWC clients. These patents have allowed SWC clients to undertake collaborative development work towards commercialisation with some of the world’s major companies and include projects such as;

Degussa Germany        –  Transparent conductive oxides for the electronics industry

Sud Chemie Germany –  Fischer Tropsch catalysts for methanol production

BASF Germany             –  Hydro-desulphurisation catalysts for the petrochemical industry

BASF Germany             –  Diesel oxidation catalyst for vehicle emissions control

Engelhard Corp USA   –  Three way catalyst for control of petrol vehicle emissions

Torrecid Spain               –  Mono dispersed nanoscale pigments for the glass and ceramics industry

Toto Japan                     –   Cathode material for solid oxide fuel cells

AGR Australia               –   Nano-scale silver for use as a biocide

ALCAN Australia          –   Catalyst for treatment and optimisation of Bayer liquors

BASF Germany             –    Nano-scale Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) for rechargeable lithium batteries

Phostech Lithium Canada-  Nano-scale Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) for rechargeable lithium batteries

Valence Technology USA-    Modified LFP at nanoscale consistent with Valence Technology patents

K2 Energy USA              –   Supply of LFP

Messaplex Australia     –    Microwave filters for mobile communications equipment


1. Improved Adhesion of Active Electrode Materials to Metal Electrode Substrates, PCT. (Inventors: Jose Antonio Alarco, John Louis Bradley, Mark Ronald Quinlan, Peter Cade Talbot; WO2012000041 A1 also published as CA2804050A1, CN103348509A, EP2589096A1, US20130130108)

2. Removing organic impurities from Bayer process liquors, USA, PCT (Inventors: Jose Antonio Alarco and Peter Cade Talbot; WO2010105305 A1 also published as CN102361820A, US20120067830).

3. Fuel additive, USA, PCT (Inventors: Jose Antonio Alarco and Peter Cade Talbot; WO2009089590 A1 also published as EP2247699A1, US20110010986).

4. Sulphur resistant emissions catalyst, USA, PCT (Inventors: Peter Cade Talbot, Jose A. Alarco and Geoffrey Alan Edwards; WO 2007115380 A1 also published as CN101443119A, CN101443119B, EP2010317A1, EP2010317A4, US8609575, US20090202408).

5. Method for making metal oxides: Australia, Canada, China, European Patent Convention, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan R.O.C., USA (Inventors: Jose A. Alarco, Geoffrey Alan Edwards and Peter Cade Talbot; WO2005070819 A1 also published as CA2553739A1, CA2553739C, EP1716076A1, EP1716076A4, US7919068, US20070031322).

6. Method for producing fine-grained particles: Australia, Canada, China, European Patent Convention, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan R.O.C., USA (Inventors: Jose A. Alarco, Geoffrey Alan Edwards and Peter Cade Talbot; US 7727909 B2 also published as CN101023025A, EP1812340A1, EP1812340A4, US20070160525, WO2006000049A1).

7. Production of metal oxide particles with nano-sized grains: USA, PCT (Inventors: Jose A. Alarco, Geoffrey Alan Edwards and Peter Cade Talbot; WO2002042201 A1 also published as CA2429412A1, CA2429412C, CN1476413A, CN1476413B, DE60138308D1, EP1355853A1, EP1355853A4, EP1355853B1, US6752979, US20050025698).

8. Process and catalysts for the methanation of oxides of carbon: PCT (Inventors: Jose Antonio Alarco, Kim Elizabeth Henville, Graeme John Millar; WO2000016901A1 also published as EP 1173277 A1).

ARC Training Centre for Future Energy Storage Technologies
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Cost Effective Renewable Hydrogen through Materials, Modelling and Process Innovation
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Battery and Solar Power;Hydrogen Production;Microgrid Integration;Renewable Energy;Water Electrolysis