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Zenyatta and Larisplast sign collaborative agreement on concrete admixture containing graphene

News International-French

22 Sep 2016

Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. announced it has signed a collaboration agreement with Larisplast Ltd., an Israeli business that specializes in the field of concrete admixtures.

Zenyatta and Larisplast have both received grant funding from the Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation under the Ontario-Israel Collaboration Program to further test the effect of adding graphene generated from Zenyatta’s Albany graphite to concrete on a pilot scale. Upon successful completion of pilot plant testing, the Agreement contemplates the formation of a new corporation (‘Newco’) jointly owned (50/50) by Zenyatta and Larisplast for the purposes of marketing this new specialized admixture product globally. Zenyatta would be the exclusive provider of purified graphite to Newco and any other party working with Larisplast on this technology.

The main objective of the collaboration is to develop a new concrete admixture with improved mechanical properties by adding Albany derived graphene. Albany graphite was found to exfoliate under sonication (sound energy process) much easier and with higher yields of graphene nano-particles than any other natural graphite types that were tested at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (‘BGU’) in Israel.  Initial application testing at BGU shows that the addition of the Company’s graphene to concrete achieves a faster curing time and superior mechanical performance that inhibits premature failure and tolerates large forces produced during earthquakes or explosions. Also, this new admixture has the potential to reduce the amount of cement that will be used in construction, thereby considerably cutting carbon dioxide emissions related to its production.

Aubrey Eveleigh, President and CEO stated, “We are very excited to start our Phase 2 pilot plant collaboration program with Larisplast after a successful Phase 1 bench scale program performed at BGU. The graphene concrete application can potentially be a significant end use for our graphite material.  It is not only environmentally friendly but has the potential to be a large volume consumer for our Company.”  Mr. Eveleigh further stated, “Our initiative with Larisplast and BGU is an important and new target application. We are also continuing to test and develop our high purity graphite for Li-ion batteries, fuel cells and powder metallurgy with other global corporations.”

The concrete industry is a significant contributor of carbon dioxide which is a major greenhouse gas. Wide spread use of this new enhanced graphene admixture product will have the potential to reduce the amount of cement used in construction and consequently cut considerable carbon dioxide emissions. In 2015, a total of 4.1 billion tonnes of cement was produced globally (Source: USGS). Approximately 25% of this total is in the use of Ultra High Performance Concrete and High performance Concrete which have the same ingredients as normal concrete but with special additives. The potential increase in concrete performance would allow for a wider range of structures such as specialized bridges, taller buildings, marine structures and construction in seismically active areas. This could represent a very large and valuable target market for Zenyatta. The global market size, in terms of value, of concrete admixtures is estimated to be US$11.7 Billion in 2015 and is projected to reach US$18.1 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 9.15% between 2015 and 2020 (Source: Markets and Markets).

About Larisplast:
Larisplast is an industry leader in Israel specializing in the field of concrete admixtures. The company develops, produces, markets and distributes high quality products and materials for the Israel concrete industry according to strict Israeli‘s standards. Larisplast operates on a nationwide basis in Israel and is currently developing international markets and distribution channels.

About BGU:
BGU is a research leader in alternative energy, robotics and nano-technology while playing a critical role in transforming Israel’s high-tech growth.  Specifically, the BGU research group focuses on carbon nanotubes and graphene product derivatives for new applications. The Advanced Technologies Park (ATP), adjacent to BGU is home to many multi-national high-tech companies, such as EMC, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, and Deutsche Telekom, which are leveraging the R&D expertise of BGU mainly through B. G. Negev Technologies and Applications Ltd. (“BGN”). BGN is the technology transfer and commercialization company for development of university technologies with industry partners.

BGU’s expertise in nanoscience is advancing new materials to convert light and heat into electrical energy, to produce lightweight cars and planes of unprecedented strength. Researchers are developing incredibly small transistors to power computers, membranes for desalinating water, graphene surfaces loaded with specific drugs for delivery to targeted diseased cells, graphene reinforcement in cement-based materials and hydrogen storage device as a key enabling technology for the advancement of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.