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Message: HPQ Announces Early-Stage Planning for a Silicon-Based Battery Material Production Line in North America

HPQ Announces Early-Stage Planning for a Silicon-Based Battery Material Production Line in North America

posted on Feb 21, 2023 08:00AM

MONTREAL, Feb. 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HPQ Silicon Inc. (“HPQ” or the “Company”) (TSX-V: HPQ) (OTCQX: HPQFF) (FRA: O08), a technology company engaged in green engineering processes for producing silica and silicon material, would like to inform shareholders on plans to build a silicon-based battery material production line in North America (“N.A”).

Eventually, as the Company has reported, HPQ expects to use the 2,500 tonnes per year (TPY) of High Purity Silicon produced by its Gen4 PUREVAPTM Quartz Reduction Reactor (QRR) as feedstock for a battery material production line, among other applications.

Between now and then, HPQ intends to build up its North American capacity gradually and gain the expertise and market presence (share) to accomplish that goal. Since the minimal commercial capacity of the systems being tested to make Silicon battery material is 200 TPY, HPQ’s first modular production line capacity will be set at 200 TPY capacity to produce sub - 5-micron size Silicon (Si) powders or 300 TPY of less than 5-micron SiOx powders.

SILICON DEMAND TO INCREASE TO RESOLVE BATTERY PERFORMANCE ISSUES
A rather recent (industrial) development is the introduction of small amounts (between 5% to 10%) of silicon or silicon oxide (SiOx) to graphite composite electrodes, since pure graphite anodes have essentially reached their maximum performance concerning energy density.1 Using estimates of graphite demand, this application suggests a minimum of 400,000 tonnes (t) to 800,000 t of silicon would be required just to satisfy the gap in graphite demand by 20402. By 2030 it is estimated a minimum of 100,000 TPY will be required.

HPQ INVESTIGATING EARLY START TO PRODUCTION:
To facilitate the early move toward production and to enter the market as quickly as possible, the Company, with input from Novacium, is developing plans to create an initial production facility that can produce 200 TPY of micron-size Si and SiOx powders for battery applications by 2024. After onboarding Novacium in Q3 of 2022, HPQ tasked the company to identify micron size Si or SiOx material characteristics and markets and propose pathways through which HPQ can use to build a North American material production line. The principal characteristics of the Silicon material needed are its size (less than 5 microns in powder form, and purity (at least 3N+ or 99.95% Si). Presently, the potential selling price for this spec material in North America, duties and transportation costs included, stand at approximately US$ 30 per Kg3.

IMPLEMENTING A STAGED APPROACH TO THE PRODUCTION LINE
To have a test production line operational in 2024, HPQ will need to deploy commercially available technologies for each of the Critical Technological Building Blocks (“CTBB”) identified by Novacium and have them work seamlessly, to make the micron size Si or SiOx material EV, battery, and advanced material manufacturers will need. HPQ will cost out the various approaches and could be able to start manufacturing the necessary silicon for the battery industry during 2024.

CTBB #1SUB – 5 MICRON SILICON GRINDING EQUIPMENT
Novacium identified different techniques and several equipment suppliers that have commercially proven equipment for the task. Tests were completed in Q4 2022 using one technology, the beginning of Q1 using a second technology provider, and plan to complete a final test with a third technology provider before the end of Q1 2023.

The second test result is extremely promising, of special interest is the fact that the size distribution of the material, an important spec for battery manufacturers, was very promising with a D97 = 4.98 µm and a D50 = 2.32 µm. Follow-up tests are presently being planned to validate the capacity of the systems to produce uniformly larger quantities of sub - 5-micron material.

Once all the tests are completed, an assessment of the CAPEX and OPEX of each process will be made to choose the most appropriate technology for HPQ’s production line.

CTBB #2: SECURING 3N+ FEEDSTOCK MATERIAL FOR THE PRODUCTION LINE
In the immediate future, HPQ GEN3 PUREVAPTM Quartz Reduction Reactor (QRR) Pilot Plant’s is expected to produce 50 TPY. The minimal commercial capacity of HPQ’s planned production being 200 TPY indicates that HPQ will need to source a minimum of 150 TPY of 3N+ Silicon feedstock for its operation. The team at Novacium have proposed options to attain this objective. The first of which is scheduled to be tested during Q2 2023.

CTBB #3: IMPROVING THE SILICON MATERIAL BATTERY CAPABILITIES
HPQ and Novacium, working with several high-level research centers, intends to investigate how it can improve the battery performance of the material. Furthermore, Novacium will do some tests to see if its patented surface treatment processes can improve the material’s performance.

CTBB #4: RIGHT SIZING THE MODULAR CAPACITIES OF THE PRODUCTION LINE
HPQ expects to ramp up capacity to match the 2,500 TPY High Purity Silicon feedstock of its Gen4 PUREVAPTM QRR.

"We are very happy to inform shareholders of this alongside our GEN3 QRR pilot plant program. HPQ’s battery initiative is taking shape. On another hand, we are excited about the significant progress made since onboarding of the NOVACIUM team back in Q3 2022," said Mr. Bernard Tourillon, President and CEO of HPQ Silicon Inc. "As we gain traction producing and selling our silicon battery materials, we will also be strengthening the values of our QRR projects. We anticipate that using the Silicon produced with the Gen4 PUREVAPTM QRR should result in a reduction of production cost by 50% to 75%.”

OTHER CORPORATE NEWS
HPQ Silicon is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement to acquire all rights held by the inventors of a new PUREVAPTM QRR patent application. This contract stems from negotiations between the parties and from a French legislation stipulating that inventors are entitled to receive remuneration for their work.

HPQ, therefore, negotiated an outright purchase agreement rather than the payment of remuneration. Consequently, to become the owner and acquire all the rights in the patent, the company will have to issue, in two stages, to each of the three inventors 120,000 Units, for a total of 360,000 Units representing a consideration of $ 86,400.

Each Unit will consist of one (1) common share of the Company, and one (1) warrant to purchase one (1) additional common share of the Company at an exercise price of $ 0.32, for a period of two (2) years after the closing date of the transaction. The first issue of 60,000 units to each of the inventors will be made at the time of filing the patent. The second issue of 60,000 Units will be made to each of the inventors at the time of the international filing of the patent. transaction is subject to TSX Venture Exchange and regulatory approval.

About HPQ Silicon
HPQ Silicon Inc. (TSX-V: HPQ) is a Quebec-based TSX Venture Exchange Tier 1 Industrial Issuer.

HPQ is developing, with the support of world-class technology partners PyroGenesis Canada Inc.(TSX: PYR) (NASDAQ: PYR) and NOVACIUM SAS, new green processes crucial to make the critical materials needed to reach net zero emissions.

HPQ activities are centred around the following five (5) pillars:

  1) Becoming a green low-cost (Capex and Opex) producer of High Purity Silicon (2N+ to 4N) using our proprietary PUREVAPTM “Quartz Reduction Reactors” (QRR) being developed by PyroGenesis.
  2) Becoming North America’s first producer of micron size High Purity Silicon (3N & 4N) powders with the assistance of NOVACIUM SAS.
  3) Working to become the first producer of nano silicon materials from High Purity Silicon chunks using our proprietary PUREVAPTM Nano Silicon Reactor (NSiRbeing developed by PyroGenesis.
  4) Becoming a green low-cost (Capex and Opex) producer of Fumed Silica using our proprietary FUMED SILICA REACTOR being developed by PyroGenesis.
  5) Developing a small and compact process for the on-demand production of hydrogen via hydrolysis of Silicon and other materials.

For more information, please visit HPQ Silicon web site.

Disclaimers:
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements containing the words "may", "plan", "will", "estimate", "continue", "anticipate", "intend", "expect", "in the process" and other similar expressions which constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements reflect the Company's current expectation and assumptions and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, our expectations regarding the acceptance of our products by the market, our strategy to develop new products and enhance the capabilities of existing products, our strategy with respect to research and development, the impact of competitive products and pricing, new product development, and uncertainties related to the regulatory approval process. Such statements reflect the current views of the Company with respect to future events and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and other risks detailed from time-to-time in the Company's ongoing filings with the security’s regulatory authorities, which filings can be found at www.sedar.com. Actual results, events, and performance may differ materially. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements either as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

This News Release is available on the company's CEO Verified Discussion Forum, a moderated social media platform that enables civilized discussion and Q&A between Management and Shareholders.

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