There is great demand for new materials for many innovative applications

Homerun Resources (TSX.V: HMR, FSE: 5ZE, WKN: A3CYRW) together with Bahia Graphite Corporation will make a donation of US$276,000 to the University of California at Davis. The donation will be paid out to the university in monthly instalments over a period of two years and comes in equal parts from Homerun Resources and Bahia Graphite Corporation. The campaign will support the research and development of silicon dioxide and graphite at the university’s Department of Material Science and Engineering.

The laboratory, in which innovative mechanical and thermal tests are carried out to gain insights into the purification of Homerun Resources’ natural Brazilian quartz sand, is headed by Professor Subhash Risbud. The aim of the test series is to refine the raw silicon dioxide into silicon, as silicon is a material with immense potential applications in the fields of energy and electronics.

Using state-of-the-art femtosecond laser and flame spraying techniques, impurities in the quartz sand are first reduced in order to purify the quartz sand to a purity of at least 99.99 per cent before it is then processed into silicon. The University of Davis will also process graphite ores and develop flowsheets for the processing steps based on metallurgy for Bahia Graphite Corporation.

Similarly, ore beneficiation and flotation processes will be used to process the raw graphite ores to extract usable graphite and find commercial uses for the graphite in the carbon nanotube and carbon fibre markets.

The combination of silicon and graphite has been little explored to date

Professor Subhash Risbud, from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California at Davis, said: “We are delighted to be working with CEO Brian Leeners and his team of highly productive collaborators to help develop breakthrough technologies based on innovative products from quartz and graphite feedstocks. With rapid industrial developments around the world, there is a great demand for new materials for many innovative applications and economic processes. We are at the forefront of introducing new, previously unknown technologies in the fields of flexible electronics, food and medical products and renewable energy. For example, we have a rich, unexplored market for the combination of silicon (silica) and graphite in carbide-based refractory materials and oxycarbide glasses on our radar as we focus our efforts on developing combined material solutions using Homerun and Bahia Graphite’s high purity silicon and graphite.”

Working closely with Homerun Resources and Bahia Graphite, Professor Risbud and his students will use their expertise to develop novel processing methods for silica sand and graphite that can be commercialised.

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