Silicon: Helping Shape The Energy Landscape

The unique characteristics of silicon renders it vital to the future of renewable energy.

Silicon’s versatility makes it prevalent throughout the energy landscape. From its input as a raw material in the production of solar panels, to its use as an adhesive on wind turbines, to the insulation it provides electrical power lines, silicon is imperative to the growth of the renewable energy landscape.

MGX's continued research and development efforts within the renewable energy sector, which range from integration of renewable sources with technologies like MGX Renewable’s energy storage systems to the use of silicon as an anode for high energy lithium-ion batteries, will help the Company play an integral role in shaping the new energy economy.

$332.1 Billion

Global clean energy investments in 2018

$7.4 Trillion

Projected investment dollars into clean energy between now and 2040

Building A Better Battery

MGX is funding a research consortium with the University of British Columbia dedicated to improving the energy density of lithium-ion batteries by developing a low-cost and scalable manufacturing method for silicon-based anodes. The two-year research program will focus on:

  1. fabricating nanostructured silicon using low-cost metallurgical silicon sourced from MGX's wholly owned projects as a feedstock and
  2. compositing nanostructured silicon with commercial graphite to develop a high-performance silicon anode.

The purpose of the research is to replace the graphite anode with silicon and complete a hybrid in the short-term which will not require retooling. The ultimate goal is to enable next-generation Li-ion batteries capable of quadrupling energy density from current 100 Wh/kg up to 400 Wh/kg for use in long-range electric vehicles and grid storage.

Leading research and development is Dr. Jian Liu, Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering at UBC Okanagan. Dr. Liu is leading a research group focused on advanced materials for energy storage. Dr. Liu was previously the technical lead on the development of surface coating materials by atomic and molecular layer deposition, and their applications in surface and interface engineering on the anode and cathode of Li-ion batteries and beyond, at Western University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

MGX and UBC Develop Breakthrough in High-Energy Lithium-Ion Batteries

  • Partnership has successfully developed a novel hybrid organic-inorganic material for use in engineering silicon interfaces
  • These interfaces will prove critical in achieving a highly efficient, long-lasting silicon anode that will aide in the development of next generation lithium-ion batteries
  • MGX and UBC are currently conducting process optimization on metallurgical grade silicon with the goal of utilizing low-cost metallurgical-grade silicon as a feedstock to fabricate nanostructured silicon
MGX and UBC Announce Breakthrough in High-Energy Lithium-Ion Batteries

“Wind and solar are set to surge to almost “50 by 50” – 50% of world generation by 2050 – on the back of precipitous reductions in cost, and the advent of cheaper and cheaper batteries that will enable electricity to be stored and discharged to meet shifts in demand and supply.”

- Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  • Silicon solar cells represent the most efficient type of solar panel and are used in approximately 90% of all solar panels.
  • Silicone-based lubricants are used to maintain the proper functionality and extend the lifespan of wind turbines.
  • Silicon materials are used to safeguard electrical power lines and also provide a layer of insulation to ensure efficiency.

High Purity Silicon Assets in British Columbia

MGX controls three high-purity silicon assets in British Columbia and is evaluating the economic viability of producing silicon metal from high purity quartzite. Currently, there are no producers of silicon in Western North America.

Longworth: Longworth is listed as one of the top silica occurrences in the Province by the BCGS (Simandl, 2014). Mineralization to date has been traced across a 7-kilometer strike length and outcrop sampling has shown consistent high grades of ~99% SiO2

Koot: Koot is a high-purity silica showing formerly explored by Teck-Cominco in the 1980's. Mineralization at Koot consist of high-purity silicon dioxide (SiO2) occurring along a 400-meter strike zone that remains open in all directions.

Wonah: Wonah consists of two mineral claims located in the Fort Steele Mining Division. The property has potential to host a high purity quartzite-type silica deposit similar to the other quartzite deposits of the Mount Wilson Formation in southeastern British Columbia.