ZEN Graphene Solutions today announced that it has signed a new research collaboration agreement with the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (“DLR”, the German Aerospace Center) to investigate the use of Albany PureTM graphene-based nanomaterials in the fabrication of novel carbon aerogel composites. The goal of this collaborative research project titled, “Development of Innovative Composites based on Carbon Aerogels”, is to develop electrode materials for new generation batteries and will build on the collaboration between ZEN, DLR and Dr. Lukas Bichler at the University of British Columbia‐Okanagan Campus (UBC-O) that was previously reported on October 15, 2018 and November 1, 2019.
In November 2019, ZEN reported on encouraging preliminary results on graphene-carbon erogel battery development work which indicated that relatively low loadings (<5 wt.%) of graphene-based material, combined with DLR’s proprietary carbon aerogel structure, can result in an anode with a significant specific discharge capacity. Preliminary best results were achieved with a 2 wt.% loading of graphene dispersed in aerogel and resulted in an initial specific discharge capacity of 2800 mAh/g and a discharge capacity of 1300 mAh/g after 50 cycles at a current capacity of 186 mA/g. These unoptimized results were believed to be better than those currently reported in the literature for graphene aerogel batteries. Graphene-enhanced aerogels could have the potential to be a low-cost, low-weight, high-performance composite materials for near future energy storage applications.
Additionally, DLR has received federal funding from the Helmholtz Association to create the Helmholtz Innovation Lab, called ZAIT, or the Center for Aerogels in Industry and Technology, which will be working together with industrial partners on the development of aerogels. ZEN supported this application with a letter of intent indicating the Company would continue to collaborate with DLR in developing graphene-based aerogel batteries and other graphene-based products.
Francis Dubé, ZEN CEO commented, “We are pleased to move forward with DLR and UBC-O, and continue our collaboration. Initial results were interesting and this research has us excited about the future potential of this technology.”