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Zenyatta Ventures Ltd
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Zenyatta talks graphite conversion tests by Tokyo Tech

2018-10-16 09:51 ET - News Release

Dr. Francis Dube reports


Researchers in Japan have published findings in the Journal of Materials Science linking particle size to the ease of producing graphene from graphite through exfoliation -- the smaller the feed graphite particle, the easier to exfoliate. The researchers further concluded that, due to the size of its flakes, the exfoliation productivity of graphite derived from Zenyatta Ventures Ltd.'s unique Albany deposit in Northern Ontario performed up to 1,500 per cent better than the researchers' reference flake graphite materials.

In a 2017 Zenyatta news release, Dr. Yoshihiko Arao, assistant professor in the department of chemical engineering at Tokyo Tech, stated: "Zenyatta's high-purity graphite material was tested by our scientific team on mechanical conversion to graphene and discovered it converted much easier and with higher yields of graphene than our reference material. We have tested many types of natural graphite but found Zenyatta's Albany graphite material to have better exfoliation performance and produce better graphene particles than the reference material. We believe that this is an extraordinary, unique material and we would like to carry out further collaborative work with Zenyatta on graphene applications."

The following significant test results are reported in the paper by Dr. Arao and Dr. Masatoshi Kubouchi at Tokyo Tech:

  • The main conclusion of the paper was that, the smaller the feed graphite particle, the easier it is to exfoliate, thus indicating that the graphite particle size is quite an important variable for successful exfoliation. Exfoliation productivity of smaller Albany graphite flakes performs up to 1,500 per cent better than the larger reference flake graphite materials.
  • Albany Graphite particles reach a two-micrometre particle size with a standard milling process, while the reference flake graphite material could not mill below a three-micrometre particle size as the graphite tends to agglomerate together.
  • It is concluded that the fine crystalline nature of Albany graphite contributes to the relatively easy milling characteristics. This can be attributed to the unusual geological mode of formation (a rapid crystallization igneous process) which accounts for the superior crystallinity and overall quality of the graphite mineralization found in this unique deposit.

Graphene exfoliated from Albany graphite produced material with the highest aspect ratio with an average thickness of 2.0 nanometres indicative of graphene with 2.4 layers. Also, the optical absorbance of the Zenyatta graphene dispersion was two to 10 times better than the other three reference samples that were tested. This demonstrated that concentrated graphene dispersions can be easily produced from Albany graphite. The resulting small and thin graphene dispersion is suitable for printable inks.

This paper confirms the reason for success on the company's many graphene research and product development initiatives, especially in composites. Tokyo Tech has established that Zenyatta's Albany graphite converts (exfoliates) easily to graphene, producing mono-layer to tri-layer material with excellent dispersion properties and is highly suitable for many graphene and graphene oxide applications.

Peter Wood, PEng, PGeo, president and chief operating officer of Zenyatta, is the qualified person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed, prepared and supervised the preparation of the technical information contained in this news release.

About Zenyatta Ventures Ltd.

Zenyatta's Albany graphite project hosts a large and unique quality deposit of highly crystalline graphite. Independent labs in Japan, the United Kingdom, Israel, the United States and Canada have demonstrated that Zenyatta's Albany graphite/Naturally Pure graphite easily converts (exfoliates) to graphene using a variety of simple mechanical and chemical methods. The deposit is located in Northern Ontario just 30 kilometres north of the Trans-Canada Highway, near the communities of Constance Lake First Nation and Hearst. Important nearby infrastructure includes hydro power, a natural gas pipeline, a rail line 50 kilometres away and an all-weather road just 10 kilometres from the deposit.

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