MGX on its way to become the cost and performance leader for zinc-air batteries

Zinc dendrites look pretty but are not good for energy storage and one of the key challenges for metal air batteries. (Source)

Today, MGX Minerals Inc. announced a major technological breakthrough by its wholly owned subsidiary ZincNyx Energy Solutions Inc., which private company was acquired from the mining giant Teck Resources in December 2017. 

Those that know about battery tech will immediately realize how important this breakthrough is, especially when considering that it’s patented. The long standing issue of metal-air batteries: Weak reliability due to the growth of zinc dendrites within the battery. The problem occurs when fine-threaded filaments of zinc crystals grow in unintended areas and may cause membrane ruptures or short circuits. 

The ZincNyx system is immune to this problematic phenomenon as it uses these zinc dendrites as fuel and consumes them as part of its normal operation. This technological breakthrough brings far reaching consequences because the avoidance of dendrite damage is the single most significant hurdle in the development and commercialization of zinc-air flow battery systems.

As this technical challenge has now been mastered successfully, ZincNyx has already started the commercial design for the mass production of its scalable 20kWh capacity zinc-air mass storage battery. 

• The zinc-air battery is an innovative mass energy storage system which can be readily scaled from kilowatt to megawatt range.

• Most interestingly, the ZincNyx system is simple to manufacture in multiple locations using conventional methods – it does not require a Gigafactory!

• The main advantage is the low cost in comparison to other energy storage systems which traditionally include high-priced commodities such as lithium, cobalt and vanadium. The ZincNyx batterry solely includes zinc particles to efficiently store energy. The materials used in the manufacture of a full ZincNyx energy storage system are inexpensive and plentiful: zinc, magnesium, nickel, carbon, plastics.

Figure 1. Principle of Operation

• The technology emits no greenhouse gases or pollutants and does not contain any heavy metals. 

• It’s a closed system and because there is no buildup of dendrites it never needs to be refueled and it does not corrode. The zinc particles are charged by solar or wind, or whatever the charged zinc goes into the fuel tank, where the energy is stored and then on demand is pumped into the fuel cells and then back to the regeneration area to be recharged. 

• Video: 

• Further information:

Figure 2. ZincNyx U.S. Patent Coverage

• Unlike conventional batteries, which have a fixed energy/power ratio, ZincNyx’s technology uses a fuel tank system that offers flexible energy/power ratios and scalability. The storage capacity is directly tied to the size of the fuel tank and quantity of charged zinc fuel, making scalability a major advantage of this flow battery system.

• The ZincNyx system is a true flow battery, thereby completely decoupling the energy and power capabilities of the system. The energy capacity can be increased simply by providing more fuel. This fuel (particles of zinc plus oxygen drawn from the air) is very inexpensive – estimated to be less than $25/kWh. Since the air does not need to be stored within the system, the size of the fuel tank is considerably reduced compared to other flow battery chemistries. 

The ZincNyx system can also be described as a regenerative fuel cell – the fuel can be regenerated electrically and never needs to be replaced. The ZincNyx system provides the benefits of a hydrogen fuel cell without the need to transport and store hydrogen.

• The system is composed of 3 major subsystems: The zinc regeneration subsystem, the fuel storage subsystem and the power generation subsystem. Each subsystem can be sized according to the application requirements: Regeneration capacity (kW), energy storage capacity (kWh) and power generation capacity (kW). This is particularly important in photovoltaic applications where the duration of usable sunlight for regeneration may be limited to 6 hours or less. The separation of functions enables each subsystem to be optimised for its application and to utilise the most cost-effective and durable materials.

The ZincNyx system does not require air conditioning since it operates above normal ambient temperatures (50-70°C).

Another major advantage of the zinc-air flow battery is the ability to charge and discharge simultaneously and at different maximum charge or discharge rates as each of the charge and discharge circuits is separate and independent.  Other types of standard and flow batteries are limited to a maximum charge and discharge by the total number of cells as there is no separation of the charge, discharge and size of the fuel storage system. 

Compelling Competitive Advantages: 
• Lowest cost energy storage for durations of 4 hours and greater
• Scalable, robust, reliable
• Insensitive to environmental and operational conditions
• Safe: No toxic, explosive or combustible materials or poisonous gasses
• Flexibility to optimize for power and energy needs

Bottom Line

The new year starts impressively with a major technological breakthrough in the energy storage industry. MGX is now also on a mission to become the world leader in zinc-air energy storage systems, because it leads in both key fields of cost and performance. Thanks to its extensive patent portfolio, funding support via SDTC, experienced management team, access to strong technical skillsets within ZincNyx and at UBC, UBC Okanagan and SFU, the company is getting ready to enter this multi-billion-dollar greentech market with an unparalleled solution. 

On December 28, MGX closed the final tranche of an oversubscribed $12.9 million financing – an impressive sign of confidence by private and institutional investors who believe in the future of MGX.  

On January 4, MGX increased its ownership in its engineering partner, PurLucid, from 34% to 46% by investment of $1.45 million. MGX maintains the right to acquire 100% of PurLucid through successive future investments. MGX also noted that its nanoflotation and nanofiltration technology allows ultra-high temperature water treatment at 10-30 times the efficiency of existing ultrafiltration systems and offers numerous environmental benefits (i.e. contaminant removal, mineral recovery, reduced energy demand, smaller footprints and lower capital costs). It was also noted that the full commissioning of the first commercial-scale petrolithium system is underway and nearing completion. For the first time, MGX published pictures of this NFLi-5 system (750 barrels/day capacity): 

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Company Details

MGX Minerals Inc.
#303 - 1080 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6C 2T1
Phone: +1 604 681 7735 

Shares Issued & Outstanding: 93,509,760 


Canadian Symbol (CSE): XMG
Current Price: $1.06 CAD (01/08/2018)
Market Capitalization: $99 Million CAD


German Symbol / WKN (Frankfurt): 1MG / A12E3P
Current Price: €0.725 EUR (01/08/2018)
Market Capitalization: €68 Million EUR 

Previous Coverage

Report #35 “Eureka! MGX Starts Developing Silica Projects after Acquisition of Mass Storage Battery Technology“

Report #34 “MGX Going Big on Petrolithium: The first large-scale integrated petroleum and lithium project ever developed“

Report #33 “Driving into the Realms of Tesla & Co: MGX Acquires Mass Storage Battery Technology from Teck Resources“

Report #32 “Backed by Private and Institutional Heavyweights: MGX cashes up for Lithium Extraction and Exploration“

Report #31 “MGX Revolutionizes the Lithium World - Commissions First Rapid Lithium Extraction System“

Report #30 “Full Steam Ahead: MGX Engages Senator Polanco (Ret.) to Head California Lithium Brine Strategy“

Report #29 “MGX to Target Geothermal Market for Extraction of Lithium and Gold“

Report #28 “MGX Minerals Commences Development of the World‘s First Petrolithium Field“

Report #27 “Canadian Government Backs MGX Minerals‘ Petrolithium Cleantech“

Report #26 “MGX Minerals Solves the Magnesium Problem of the Lithium Industry“

Report #25 “Hard-Rock Lithium Exposure for MGX“

Report #24 “One of the Largest Initial Oil Estimates in US History“

Report #23 “MGX starts Petrolithium pilot plant to deliver hard facts for strategic partners“

Report #22 “Time to bet: Sprott takes a position in MGX“

Report #21 “Petrolithium: First Come First Served“

Report #20 “Successful Independent Verification of the MGX Lithium Extraction Technology“

Report #19 “MGX to Drill the World‘s First PetroLithium Well in Utah“

Report #18 “MGX Reports Upgrading of Lithium Brine from 67 to 1600 ppm Lithium“ 

Report #17 “MGX technology nominated for prestigious Katerva Award, the Nobel Prize of Sustainability“ 

Report #16 “Unconventional oil play legend Marc Bruner to take MGX and PetroLithium to the next level“ 

Report #15 “Total Conviction: MGX forms PetroLithium Corp. to expand into the US oilfield brine markets“ 

Report #14: “MGX Extracts Lithium from Oil Wastewater - Begins Monumental Integration with Big Oil“

Report #13 "MGX Partners with Oil Major on Lithium Brine, New Energy Industry Facing Fundamental Shift“

Report #12 "Game Changing Potential: MGX Minerals‘ Pilot Plant for Rapid Production of Lithium Nears Completion“

Report #11 "MGX assays 34 g/t gold from surface sampling in British Columbia“

Report #10 “Official: MGX owns magnesium worth multi-billions of dollars and starts pilot plant shortly“

Report #9 “One of the world‘s largest lithium resources on the horizon?“

Report #8 “Ready for significant lithium brine work in Alberta“

Report #7 “At the forefront of Alberta‘s lithium brine riches“

Report #6 “Pioneering Lithium in Alberta: MGX Minerals Teams Up“

Report #5 “Time to Put a Lithium Production Process in Place“

Report #4 “MGX Minerals Taps Into Canada‘s Potentially Largest High-Grade Lithium Resources“

Report #3 “MGX Minerals Receives Mining Lease for 20 years (in British Columbia!)“

Report #2 “MGX Minerals Accelerates Towards Production“

Report #1 “MGX Minerals Plans To Enter The Magnesium Market“

Disclaimer: Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF (here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist. The author hold a long position in MGX Minerals Inc. and is being paid a monthly retainer from Zimtu Capital Corp., which company also holds a long position in MGX Minerals Inc.

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"ZincNyx Plans Flow Battery Mass Production Within a Year" (JANUARY 19, 2018 by GreenTechMedia)

The company is aiming for a price of $16,000 for a 20-kilowatt-hour product with an output of 5 kilowatts per hour. An equivalent system from Tesla would cost around $56,000, or three times as much, he said.

It has gone through two phases of product prototyping. ZincNyx has a distribution agreement with “a major German group” specializing in diesel generators and off-grid power supplies, according to Lazerson.
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Name: MGX Minerals Inc.
Canada Symbol: XMG
Germany Symbol / WKN: 1MG / A12E3P
Shares Issued & Outstanding: 93,509,760
Phone: +1 604 681 7735

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