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Zen Graphene receives $1M grant for R&D

2019-05-08 10:27 ET - News Release

Dr. Francis Dube reports


Zen Graphene Solutions Ltd. has been awarded a $1-million grant that will accelerate Zen's graphene-enhanced concrete research and development project. The grant will potentially help the company achieve its goal to provide innovative cement-based composite products to the Ontario market by possibly early 2020. The grantor will reimburse 50 per cent up to a maximum of $1-million spent by Zen on relevant expenses directly related to graphite purification, graphene production research, concrete additive research and large-scale graphene-enhanced concrete testing.

Zen is currently developing a graphene-enhanced concrete additive in collaboration with the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus) that has the potential to increase the strength of concrete by 40 per cent. The graphene additive also has the potential to reduce the amount of concrete required in numerous concrete applications, thereby contributing to greenhouse gas emission reductions by the concrete industry. In addition, the graphene additive has the potential to 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 company is working toward commercialization of this graphene application with a business plan to potentially provide significant volumes of graphene to the concrete industry at a competitive cost.

Dr. Francis Dube, chief executive officer of Zen, commented: "This $1-million reimbursement grant will accelerate Zen's innovation for graphene applications through game-changing research and a vibrant collaboration between industry and academia helping to launch the next generation of products and jobs. I thank the entire Zen team for securing this grant, which validates the business plan to accelerate our graphene-enhanced concrete application towards potentially successful commercialization."

The tailings study results (see Feb. 21, 2019, press release) were not included in the grant submission as results were not known at the time. However, the encouraging initial test results indicate that the use of Albany graphite tailings as a partial cement replacement has additional commercial potential. Preliminary testing has indicated that, as a 10-per-cent partial cement replacement, the tailings actually increased the strength of the concrete at the 56-day mark by 4.23 per cent. The company will continue to work to develop innovative graphene concrete additives that will benefit the construction industry and the environment.

About Zen Graphene Solutions Ltd.

Zen Graphene Solutions is an emerging graphene technology company with a focus on development of the unique Albany graphite project. This precursor graphene material provides the company with a competitive advantage in the potential graphene market as independent labs in Japan, the United Kingdom, Israel, the United States and Canada have demonstrated that Zen's Albany graphite/Naturally Pure easily converts (exfoliates) to graphene using a variety of simple mechanical and chemical methods.

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