Figure 1: Close up view of Berkwood’s Expanded Graphite (“graphite worms”)
Vancouver, August 27th 2019 — Berkwood Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: BKR; Frankfurt:BR2N – WKN: A2DNV4) (“Berkwood” or the “company”) is pleased to announce excellent results from recently completed testwork conducted by ProGraphite GmbH (“ProGraphite”) in Germany. Berkwood has commissioned ProGraphite to test the company’s high-grade flake graphite concentrate from the Lac Guéret South deposit in Northern Quebec, Canada for the production of purified and expandable graphite.
The company ProGraphite GmbH offers professional expertise and a wide range of laboratory services in natural graphite. ProGraphite’s laboratory expertise is well recognized in the industry for the determination of flake graphite qualities specific to various end uses. For more information about ProGraphite, please visit: www.pro-graphite.com
The main findings of ProGraphite are:
- The size distribution of the flake graphite in the concentrate shows a coarse flake size, above market standard (based on the two screened samples “Berkwood 20×50” and “Berkwood 50×100”).
- Graphitic carbon grade of the tested graphite samples is above 98% Cgr.
- The tested material is very suitable for the production of expandable graphite. Expansion rates of 380 ml/g (H2O2 method) and 390 ml/g (KMnO4 method) have been achieved easily.
- The carbon content obtained after a standard alkaline purification process was 99.95%.
Tom Yingling, President and CEO states: “We are very pleased with these excellent testwork results from ProGraphite. This report is one of the final pieces of the puzzle that was crucial for Berkwood. The Company knew we have high-grade graphite and large flakes. From the recently announced NI 43-101 resource estimation report, we knew that Berkwood has a substantial amount of it and it is right on surface. One of the last pieces of the puzzle we needed to know was if the graphite is able to be expanded, and, can it be done so very easily using standard methods. Today I am pleased to announce that Berkwood’s graphite is expandable. Another significant result is the fact that our graphite concentrate can be easily purified to 99.95%. For Berkwood, this opens up the opportunity to sell our graphite flakes into a wide range of standard and value-added graphite markets.”
Based on these encouraging results, ProGraphite draws the following conclusion and recommends further tests: “The results of the production of expandable graphite using both, KMnO4 or H2O2 as oxidation reagent, showed excellent results with expansion rates well above 350 ml/g. The testwork was done using standard formulations. It is probable, that changes of process parameters (like amount of acids, change of retention time etc.) and perhaps the usage of additional chemicals will lead to even higher expansion rates. ProGraphite recommends to perform further tests for verification. Alkaline purification of the graphite showed excellent results as well. The carbon content obtained after a standard alkaline purification process was 99.95%, which is a very good result.”
Figure 2: Intercalation process and expansion of natural flake graphite
What is Expandable Graphite?
Due to the layered structure of highly crystalline natural flake graphite, it is possible to insert molecules between the carbon layers. During this process which is named intercalation, the expanded graphite material takes on new properties. Intercalated graphite flakes with outstanding expansion rates have a high amount of intercalated layers. Most commonly, sulphuric or nitric acid are used as intercalation agents. Under the influence of high temperatures and within several hours, the carbon layers separate and small, several millimetres large “graphite worms” show up. The result is a significant increase in the volume of the graphite of up to 375 times, an overall decrease in bulk density and an approximately a 10-fold increase in surface area.
Uses of Expandable Graphite
The worldwide market for expandable graphite is one of the fastest growing markets along with Li-Ion batteries. Over the last couple of years the market has experienced significant price increases. Expandable graphite can be used in many applications including:
Thermal management in consumer electronics
High end gaskets that are heat and corrosion resistant
Flow batteries and fuel cells
Electrically conductive fillers
About Berkwood Resources Ltd.: Berkwood is engaged in exploration for the commodities that enable the modern revolution in essential technologies. These technologies are dependent upon the ethical mining and supply of naturally occurring elements and minerals that enhance the performance of energy storage systems and permit the development and miniaturization of new electronics and structural components for the new suite of innovative tools. The Company is led by a team with collectively over 200 years experience and whose members have been involved with the discovery of several producing mines.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
Berkwood Resources Ltd.
President, CEO & Director
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