PyroGenesis Canada (PYR) Confirms Successful Production of Nano Silicon Material

August 5, 2021 3:24 PM EDT

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PyroGenesis Canada Inc. ( (TSX: PYR) (NASDAQ: PYR) (FRA: 8PY), a high-tech company (hereinafter referred to as the “Company” or “PyroGenesis”), that designs, develops, manufactures and commercializes advanced plasma processes and sustainable solutions which reduce greenhouse gases (GHG), is pleased to confirm, that further to HPQ Silicon Resources Inc’s press release of earlier today1, the Company has successfully produced Nano Silicon materials with its PUREVAP™ Nano Silicon Reactor (“NSIR”) for HPQ Nano Silicon Powders Inc (“HPQ NANO” or the “Client”), a wholly owned subsidiary of HPQ Silicon Resources Inc (TSX-V: HPQ) (OTCQX: HPQFF) (FWB: UGE).

PyroGenesis is currently working with HPQ, and/or HPQ subsidiaries, in the following three broadly defined projects:

  1. Converting Silica (Quartz, SiO2) into high purity silicon using PUREVAP™ QRR,
  2. Converting Silicon (Si) into Nano Silicon powders using PUREVAP™ NSIR. The goal is to increase performance and storage capacity (highly sought-after characteristics in many industries but specifically EV) in lithium-ion batteries by replacing graphite with these nano silicon powders, and
  3. Converting Silica (Quartz, SiO2) quartz into fumed silica.

The successful milestone announced today by HPQ relates to the conversion of silicon into Nano Silicon powders (project #2 above). After experiencing certain delays relating to unexpected operating issues, PyroGenesis’ engineering team has been able to successfully produce nano silicon materials, and this represents a significant confirmation of the original assumptions underlying this project.

The next major milestone is to optimize the process and have a third-party evaluation of powder characteristics, after which orders can be delivered to various entities who have been waiting to receive samples.

“Notwithstanding certain unexpected operating challenges, the results today are indeed a significant milestone as it validates our original assumptions and provides further evidence that we are on the right path,” said P. Peter Pascali, CEO and Chair of PyroGenesis. “Although there may be challenges ahead, and no outcome can be guaranteed, words cannot adequality describe the excitement at PyroGenesis of potentially being able to address significant challenges facing the development of lithium-ion batteries for the EV market, and others. For example, by 2030, it is estimated that anodes may contain up to 30% silicon in automotive applications as compared to today where silicon is barely used in these applications.2”

Research3 indicates that replacing graphite with nano silicon powders could allow for the manufacturing of high-performance Li-ion batteries with the capability of delivering an almost tenfold (10x) increase in anode capacity, inducing a 20-40% gain in the energy density of the next generation of Li-Ion batteries. The Li-ion battery market size is estimated to grow from USD 44.2 billion in 2020 to USD 94.4 billion by 2025, equivalent to a CAGR of 16.4%.4

PyroGenesis also confirms that it is now moving forward with the next phase of the project which consists (i) designing and manufacturing a semi-continuous process system with a commercial production capacity of at least 500 kg/month (approx. 6 MT/year) of nano silicon powders, and (ii) validating commercial scalability.

“PyroGenesis’ last major milestone, prior to the delivery of its first nano silicon sample, is the completion of an optimization process on the samples produced”, said Mr. Pierre Carabin, CTO and Chief Strategist of PyroGenesis. “The optimization process will, amongst other things, (i) improve product quality and consistency, (ii) evaluate the chemical characteristics, and (iii) perform microscopic and particle size distribution analysis.”

As previously disclosed, PyroGenesis has entered into an agreement with HPQ NANO in which, amongst other things, PyroGenesis benefits from (i) a 10% royalty (“Royalty”) on HPQ NANO’s future sales (with set minimums), and (ii) the option to convert this Royalty at any time into a 50% ownership in HPQ NANO.

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