Zenyatta and Ballard Power partner for fuel cell graphite

Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. [ZEN-TSXV; ZENYF-OTCQX] reports the start of a project with Ballard Power Systems Inc. [BLD-TSX; BLDP-NASDAQ] utilizing high purity Albany graphite in the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) of a fuel cell.  MEA is a critical component of the Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell that must meet exacting performance standards for the fuel cell to work properly.

The primary objectives of this work are:

  • Incorporate Albany graphite in the gas diffusion layer (GDL) components of a fuel cell; • Evaluate the Albany graphite material in Ballard manufacturing processes;
  • Evaluate performance of Albany graphite in anode and cathode GDL designs and compare against existing available commercial materials;

In a news release dated 12Aug15, Zenyatta announced testing results by Ballard that samples of Albany graphite demonstrated high thermal and corrosion resistance properties.  A first step screening process on Albany graphite material confirmed its suitability for use in the bipolar plate (BPP) and gas diffusion layer (GDL) for fuel cells. High thermal stability and corrosion resistance is critical in the performance of these components in fuel cells.

The current project phase will advance the collaboration to the next level through evaluation of the Albany graphite material in sub-components of fuel cells, including performance and manufacturability in established Ballard processes.

Ballard will develop prototype components for both cathode and anode GDLs incorporating Zenyatta material and evaluate the layer function for optimal water management and gas diffusion properties. Ballard will provide a detailed technical report including evaluation and analysis of the material compared against commercial designs.

Dr. Bharat Chahar, VP, Market Development, Zenyatta, said, “This is the next major step in qualifying Zenyatta graphite in a high growth and high value application.  We are extremely pleased to be working with a world fuel cell leader like Ballard on use of our graphite for this cleantech market.”

Ballard Power Systems is a leader in fuel cell development and manufacturing. Ballard’s world class production and test facilities are used to manufacture and deliver fuel cell stacks for a range of applications where cost and reliable function is critical.

Zenyatta’s Albany graphite deposit is located 30km north of the Trans-Canada Highway near the town of Hearst, northeastern Ontario.

A geological illustration of Zenyatta’s Albany graphite deposits in northern Ontario. Note the CN Tower for comparison. Source Zenyatta Ventures Ltd.

A geological illustration of Zenyatta’s Albany graphite deposits in northern Ontario. Note the CN Tower for comparison. Source Zenyatta Ventures Ltd.

Filed in: Graphite, Resources

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