CSIRO Technology Collaboration

Dr Grant Douglas

CSIRO Consultant

Position and background

Dr Grant Douglas is a Senior Principal Research Scientist in the Contaminants and Biotechnology Program in CSIRO Land and Water.

He has over 30 years experience in aquatic and sediment geochemistry, Sr-Nd-Pb and U-Th isotope geochemistry, aquatic system management and contaminant /mine site remediation.

Other research activities include the understanding PFAS contamination in concrete and asphalt, the characterisation and reuse of waste materials, and uranium and radionuclide-related research.

Technology Commercialisation

Dr Douglas is currently commercialising the hydrotalcite-based technology known as Virtual Curtain, a patented acid surface, groundwater, and wastewater treatment.

The Virtual Curtain technology has been successfully applied to treat acidic mine pit waters in Australia and for the treatment of 7 GL per annum of coal gasification wastewater in China and is an advanced stage of evaluation by the China National Nuclear Corporation for wastewater treatment. More recently, Dr Douglas developed and commenced commercialisation of the EUREECA technology for long-term, geological containment of radionuclides and other contaminants.

Dr Douglas also developed and patented the phosphorus-adsorbing clay Phoslock™ used to mitigate algal blooms, which has been commercialised worldwide and is currently used in over 25 countries.  

Research Areas

Current research projects include neutralisation of tailings and investigation of closure options in the uranium mining and other industries, investigation of options for management and remediation of saline, acidic waters, characterisation of acid sulphate soils, and investigation of the productive reuse of mineral-based by-products in environmental applications such as wastewater filtration and soil amendments.

Dr Douglas has also worked with major multi-national industry partners such as Rio Tinto, Alcoa and Iluka Resources to characterise waste materials and identify environmentally sustainable, long-term treatment and disposal options.

Dr Douglas also works with the Australian Department of Defence on PFAS characterisation in concrete and asphalt.

Professional Affiliations and Awards

In 2001 and 2004 Dr Douglas was elected a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute / Chartered Chemist and a Fellow of the International Association of Applied Geochemists respectively.

Dr Douglas is currently an Associate Editor of Inland Waters and also Mine Water and Environment. In 2009 Dr Douglas was awarded the Australian Water Association (AWA) WA Research Award for Advances in Groundwater Protection and Remediation, and in 2011 the AWA WA Innovation Award for Phoslock™.

In 2012 Dr Douglas was awarded The Australian Shell Innovation Award: Environment, for Phoslock™ R&D. In 2019 Dr Douglas received the Weickhardt Medal from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute for his Distinguished Contribution to Economic Advancement, and in 2020 he received The ATSE Clunies Ross Medal for Knowledge Commercialisation. 

Publication Record

Dr Douglas has published over 80 refereed manuscripts, eight book chapters, numerous national and international conference presentations and publications and over 150 internal/client reports.

Dr Douglas has heavily promoted science to a wider audience via 150 interviews in local, national and international electronic and print media. Dr Douglas is also the sole author of six international provisional or full patents.