Zen Graphene Solutions has been awarded a $1,000,000 grant to accelerate its graphene-enhanced concrete research and development project.
Zen says the grant will potentially help the company achieve its goal to provide cement-based composite products to Ontario by possibly early 2020.
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.
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 it claims has the potential to increase the strength of concrete by 40%.
According to Zen, 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. Also, the graphene additive has the potential to make concrete more durable resulting in infrastructure that will resist cracking relation to freeze-thaw cycles and salt corrosion which are key attributes relevant to Canadian usage.
The Company is working towards commercialisation 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 Dubé commented: “This $1,000,000 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 commercialisation.”
The tailings study results were not included in the grant submission as results were not known at the time.
However, the 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% partial cement replacement, the tailings actually increased the strength of the concrete at the 56 day mark by 4.23%. The Company will continue to work to develop innovative graphene concrete additives that will benefit the construction industry and the environment.