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MONTREAL, Oct. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Innovative silicon solutions provider HPQ Silicon Resources Inc. (“HPQ” or “the Company”) (TSX-V: HPQ; FWB: UGE; Other OTC : URAGF) through its wholly – owned subsidiary, HPQ Nano Silicon Powders inc (“HPQ NANO”), is pleased to announce that the PUREVAPTM Nano Silicon Reactor (“NSiR”) presently being developed with PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (TSX-V: PYR) will be incorporating the following additional capability in its design:
Carbon coating the spherical nano silicon powders and nanowires as they are being created.
ONE STEP CARBON COATING NANO SILICON POWDERS AND NANOWIRES POTENTIAL GAME CHANGER?
The Silicon coating concept was validated on Tesla Battery Day when:
“Musk also added that he would tackle one of the key downsides of using silicon inside anodes by coating the silicon with elastic polymer coating and holding the silicon together with elastic binders.”1
Presently, advance coating processes, like Atomic Laser Disposition-coating (ALD) require:
An additional dedicated self-contain process for the coating of the material;
Capex for the dedicated process equipment;
Additional material handling (increasing contamination risk and operational costs).
Combining the carbon coating process into the same operation cycle that produces the silicon materials, the low-cost transformation of metallurgically produced Silicon into spherical silicon nano powders or nano wires, could be game changing for the industry.
SILICON POTENTIAL FOR BATTERY ANODE MATERIAL BECOMES MAINSTREAM
Tesla's latest battery day presentation confirmed that the future of battery anodes will be Silicon. Tesla’s “…plans on removing graphite from the anode …”2, points to the need for Innovative Silicon Solutions which HPQ is focused on, as Silicon only based anodes are not yet technically feasible - for now.
Presently, Silicon is used in a blended form with graphite and typically only represents around 5% by wt, which explains the limited performance improvements achieved to date. The primary hurdle to increasing Silicon anode content in Li-ion batteries is the mitigation of Silicon swelling and cracking during the lithiation phase3 in order to achieve a cyclage stability comparable to graphite.
Ongoing R&D indicates that the two most promising avenues for resolving these issues are:
Going small, nanosizing the Silicon in order to eliminate its cracking during the lithiation phase;
Encapsulating the Silicon in order to manage its swelling and cracking
This is why HPQ NANO is looking forward to the December 2020 start of our first PUREVAPTM NSiR reactor and moving the Nano Silicon project to the validation phase, to resolve these issues.
“The decision to proceed with this additional capability demonstrates HPQ NANO’s leadership in the space and reflects the infancy of Silicon anode technology development. HPQ continues to expand the attractiveness of our product line for renewable energy storage participants and electric vehicle manufacturers who continue to search for cost effective ways of increasing the Silicon contained in their batteries. Our belief that HPQ NANO PUREVAPTM NSiR will open up unique multibillion-dollar business opportunity for HPQ and PyroGenesis has never been stronger. Having the vision to add this additional capability to the process is another example of the value of our unique relationship with PyroGenesis, a Company with a long track record of taking high-tech industrial projects from proof of concept to global commercial scalability,” said Bernard Tourillon, President and CEO HPQ Silicon. “Silicon potential to meet energy storage demand is undeniable and generating massive investments, as well as, serious industry interest. We are very confident about the prospect of being one of the first companies coming to market with a low-cost scalable process that can encapsulate, in Carbon, the spherical Nano Silicon Powders and Nanowires that batteries and EV manufacturers are looking for.”