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ZEN partners with Canadian university to produce low-cost graphene

ZEN uses graphite from its Albany mine in Ontario to produce graphene. Reference photo by James St. John, Flickr.

ZEN Graphene Solutions (TSXV: ZEN) announced that it has signed an initial agreement to in-license certain intellectual properties from a Canadian university that, when combined with ZEN’s graphite from the Albany mine, produces low-cost, environmentally-friendly graphene.

The company said that the production process rapidly exfoliates Albany graphite into few-layer graphene, or FLG, with a conversion efficiency of over 90%.

The Albany graphite project is located near Thunder Bay, in northeastern Ontario. It is a microcrystalline graphite deposit with a completed PEA

“The challenge in the emerging graphene industry has been to produce consistent FLG, available in industrial quantities at prices that permit industrial adoption,” Francis Dubé, ZEN’s CEO, said in a media brief. “We believe that with this new process applied to our unique Albany Graphite product, ZEN Graphene Solutions possesses all the components to solve this challenge within a single vertically integrated company.”

According to Dubé, the company collected 110 tonnes of graphite-mineralized material with an estimated average grade of 6% graphitic carbon during a bulk sample program that was carried out in early 2019.

The collected material is going to be purified into approximately 99.8% graphite. This exfoliation process combined with other techniques will be used to transform the graphite into graphene and graphene oxide.

“The company has commenced searching for an industrial location that will house a pilot production centre, a research and development lab as well as office space. The graphene produced by the pilot production centre will be offered for sale as permitted by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines,” Dubé said.