ZEN gets $1m grant for graphene-enhanced concrete project

Concrete bridge. Photo by Martin Vorel, Libreshot.

Canada’s ZEN Graphene Solutions (TSXV: ZEN) this week received a $1 million grant aimed at accelerating its graphene-enhanced concrete research and development project.

In a press release, the company said the grant will potentially help its experts achieve the goal of providing cement-based composite products to the Ontario market by early 2020.

ZEN management says the goal is to provide significant volumes of graphene to the concrete industry

“The grantor will reimburse 50% up to a maximum of $1,000,000 spent by ZEN on relevant expenses directly related to graphite purification, graphene production research, concrete additive research and large-scale graphene-enhanced concrete testing,” the media statement reads.

The graphene-enhanced concrete additive the firm is working on is a joint project with the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia-Okanagan campus. The product is expected to increase the strength of concrete by 40% and it has the potential to reduce the amount of concrete required in a number of applications.

According to ZEN, the graphene additive could also make concrete more durable resulting in infrastructure that will resist cracking related to freeze-thaw cycles and salt corrosion, which are key attributes relevant to Canadian usage.

The graphene the company will be using comes from its Albany project, which is a microcrystalline graphite deposit near Thunder Bay, Ontario. ZEN said the material recovered from the site easily converts or exfoliates to graphene.