Focus Graphite Inc has announced that Grafoid Inc - in which Focus Graphite holds a 40% ownership stake - has executed a three-year research and development agreement with Hydro-Québec's Research Institute for the development of next generation rechargeable batteries using graphene with lithium iron phosphate materials. Focus Graphite President and CEO Gary Economo, who holds the same position with Grafoid, announced the signing of the joint R&D agreement with Dr. Karim Zaghib, Director Storage and Conversion of Energy at Hydro-Québec's research and development division, l'Institut de recherche d'Hydro-Québec (IREQ).
The 50-50 collaborative agreement sets out terms with the objective of creating patentable inventions by combining graphene, supplied by Grafoid, with Hydro-Québec's patented lithium iron phosphate technologies. Two key, specific commercial target markets - the rechargeable automobile battery sectors and batteries for mobile electronic devices used in smartphones, computing tablets and laptop computers - were identified in the agreement.
Hydro-Québec will study Grafoid's graphene conductivity, electrochemical performance and its effects in electrode formulations, electrolyte and separator optimizations. Detailed characterizations of Grafoid's supplied materials will be undertaken at IREQ's cutting edge facilities using its advanced electron microscopy, spectrographic and other in-house technologies.
Hydro-Québec will also supply lithium iron phosphate materials and its electrochemistry know how which it acquired under license from famed American inventor Dr. John Goodenough. Grafoid, in addition to providing graphene materials, brings knowledge acquired during its own development of functionalized graphene and its experience in proving graphene's economic scalability.
Mr. Economo said "This is our first major graphene collaboration with a Quebec and a Canadian global giant in renewable energy research and development. And the source of our graphene is Focus Graphite's Lac Knife, Quebec technology graphite deposit. Commercially, and ultimately, our technology development partnership with Hydro-Québec aims to produce high capacity, LFP-graphene batteries with ultra short charging times and longer recyclable lifetimes," Mr. Economo said.
He said the parties chose to focus their collaboration on LFP-graphene batteries and materials because of their short-term-to-market potential.
Source and top image: Focus Graphite