MGX Minerals Announces the Second Collaborative Project with University of British Columbia to Develop Rechargeable Aqueous Zn-Ion Batteries off the Ground
MGX Minerals Inc.is pleased to report that its strategic partnership with the University of British Columbia (“UBC”) has started a second project to develop rechargeable aqueous Zn-ion batteries as a low-cost energy storage solution for grid applications. This MGX/UBC team has successfully secured three-year funding support from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Alliance Program in April 2020.
Development of inexpensive, safe, and environmentally benign electrochemical energy storage technologies is imperative to integrate renewable energy into the smart grid in Canada and globally. Lithium-ion batteries have been widely used in portable devices and electric vehicles, but suffer from high cost and inherent safety issues (fires and explosion) associated with the use of flammable organic electrolytes. In contrast, aqueous-based Zn-ion batteries have many benefits, such as high safety, low cost, environmental friendliness, and relatively high energy density. However, current Zn-ion batteries have poor performance partially due to Zn dendrite problem on Zn anode. Zn dendrites are needle-like structure formed during battery cycling that can lead to low efficiency and battery capacity, and pierce the separator to cause short circuit. In this project, the MGX-UBC team will tackle the Zn dendrite problem by using nanoscale and multifunctional surface coatings, and prototype and scale up the manufacturing of Zn-ion batteries with the new Zn anodes. Deployment of this new battery technology will not only lead to local economic benefits, but also help increase the wide-range adoption of renewable energy, reduce dependence on carbon-intensive fuels, improve the living environment of Canadians, and contribute to the transition to a greener and cleaner society.
Affiliated with Materials and Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI) and Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC) at UBC, Dr. Liu’s research lab has established state-of-the-art Advanced Battery Facility for materials development, battery fabrication, and electrochemical evaluation for various electrochemical systems, which provide strong support for various battery projects between MGX and UBC.
MGX Zinc Projects
MGX’s subsidiary MGX Renewables Inc. was spunoff in July of 2019 and now trades as Zinc8 Energy Solutions (CSE: ZAIR). ZInc8 has developed modular energy storage systems that utilize patented regenerative zinc-air fuel cell battery technology that efficiently store energy in the form of zinc particles. The technology allows for low cost mass storage of energy and can be deployed into a wide range of applications, including:
- Utility-scale storage and power grid load stabilization
- Long term backup power for industrial, commercial, and military facilities
- Remote location off grid and micro grid applications
- Diesel generator replacement or hybridization