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Quebec — HPQ Silicon, an innovative silicon solutions company, and PyroGenesis Canada and the Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Centre (ETM) of the Institut national de recherche scientifique (INRS) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) have set up a research project focused on the development of silicon (Si)-based materials as active anode materials for Lithium-ion batteries.

A HIGHLY QUALIFIED MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM TO MEET THE CHALLENGE

HPQ and PyroGenesis will be responsible for the production of silicon materials from the PUREVAP™ Quartz Reduction Reactor (QRR) and the PUREVAP™ Nano Silicon Reactor (NSiR). The INRS-EMT will be responsible for the characterization of the materials and the optimization of the electrode formulations at laboratory scale.

SILICON, A PROMISING ANODE MATERIAL, BUT…

Despite intensive research efforts and significant investments in silicon battery materials, current manufacturing processes remain unscalable or even commercially unviable. This explains why even though silicon (Si) is theoretically a superior anode material for Li-ion batteries than graphite, it is currently included in less than 5%1 of commercial battery anodes and its use is limited to a few advanced Li-ion battery manufacturers. The NSiR PUREVAP™ developed by PyroGenesis is a game-changer and solves the scalability and commercial viability issues of silicon (Si) for the Li-ion battery market.

THE PRESENCE OF SILICON AS AN ANODE MATERIAL IN LI-ION BATTERIES WILL INCREASE

Advances made in research on the use of silicon (Si) in Li-ion battery anodes indicate that by 2030, up to 30% of the active anode materials for Li-ion batteries used in electric vehicles could be silicon2. This increase, combined with the expected exponential growth in demand for electric vehicles, will create a very high demand for the battery-grade silicon (Si) that HPQ and PyroGenesis are developing, with an estimated market of over 200,000 MT per year by 2030.

“This research project, funded in large part by government grants, will provide us with independent validation of our silicon battery products, while providing us with us quick and comprehensive feedback on the potential of our materials. Since we will own the data we collect, it will be very useful when we present our products to a multitude of potential buyers,” said Bernard Tourillon, President and CEO HPQ Silicon. “HPQ’s Silicon R&D Consortium has the depth and flexibility to meet the challenges, as we strive to produce products for renewable energy storage participants and electric vehicle manufacturers, each of which is searching for cost-effective ways to increase the Silicon content of their batteries.”

About professor Lionel ROUÉ
Professor Lionel ROUÉ of INRS-EMT has developed a scientific program focused on the study of new electrode materials for various applications of industrial interest (batteries, aluminum production…). In the last few years, an important part of his research activities has been devoted to the study of Si anodes for Li-ion batteries and to the development of in-situ characterization methods applied to batteries. He is the author of more than 150 publications, including about 20 papers and 2 patents on Si anodes for Li-ion batteries. He received the Energia award from the Association Québécoise pour la Maîtrise de l’Énergie for his work in this field.

About the Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre (EMT) and the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS)
The Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Centre (EMT) of l’INRS is a centre of excellence in research, innovation and graduate education in the fields of advanced materials, nanotechnology, photonics, telecommunications and sustainable energy. The EMT Centre brings together approximately 40 professors.

About PRIMA Québec
The advanced materials research and innovation hub PRIMA Québec supports and facilitates the advanced materials ecosystem and acts as an engine of innovation and growth in Quebec. Through support and funding, it stimulates the competitiveness of Quebec companies by helping them benefit from research expertise. As a Sectoral Industrial Research Group (SIRG), PRIMA Québec relies on financial support from both the Quebec government and the private sector when promoting research-industry relations.

About the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
NSERC invests more than $1.2 billion annually in research on the natural sciences and engineering in Canada. With this funding, more than 11,000 world-class researchers are making discoveries and scientific breakthroughs. It also fosters partnerships and collaborations that bring discoverers and users closer together. The research partnerships that NSERC enables between researchers and companies help guide R&D and address the challenges of moving from the lab to the marketplace. NSERC also provides scholarships, fellowships and practical training opportunities to more than 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows. These young researchers are the next generation of Canada’s science and engineering leaders.

About PyroGenesis Canada Inc.
PyroGenesis Canada Inc., a high-tech company, is a leader in the design, development, manufacture and commercialization of advanced plasma processes and products. The Company provides its engineering and manufacturing expertise and its turnkey process equipment packages to customers in the defense, metallurgical, mining, advanced materials (including 3D printing), and environmental industries. With a team of experienced engineers, scientists and technicians working out of its Montreal office and its 3,800 m2 and 2,940 m2 manufacturing facilities, PyroGenesis maintains its competitive advantage by remaining at the forefront of technology development and commercialization. The Company’s core competencies allow PyroGenesis to provide innovative plasma torches, plasma waste processes, high-temperature metallurgical processes, and engineering services to the global marketplace. PyroGenesis’ operations are ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D certified. For more information, please visit www.pyrogenesis.com.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has 8+ years of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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