MGX to spin out zinc-air fuel cell division, grow technology internationally

ZincNyx regenerative zinc-air flow battery system. Image: ZincNyx Energy Solutions Inc.

MGX Minerals Inc. will publicly list its wholly owned subsidiary ZincNyx Energy Solutions Inc. and pay a partial share dividend of ZincNyx directly to MGX shareholders.

The planned result will be a separate publicly traded company primarily owned by MGX and its shareholders.

The transaction is aimed at realizing the full value of ZincNyx and the unique opportunity of replacing or augmenting diesel generators globally with zinc-air mass storage systems in addition to backup and load balancing applications, MGX said.

The opportunity to replace marine diesel engines with electric engines and zinc-air fuel cells is now being evaluated due to the ability to refuel the systems in a method similar to traditional refueling, from onshore refueling tanks, but using the environmentally benign charged zinc electrolyte.

“The scale of the opportunity and the value of the intellectual property, now in excess of 20 issued patents developed by ZincNyx, has set up an ideal scenario for a spinoff transaction and return of value to shareholders through partial dividend of shares,” MGX’s CEO Jared Lazerson said in a statement.

“This is an important standalone technology that needs to grow unbridled on the global stage, a public listing creates this platform,” he added.

ZincNyx received $250,000 from Alberta Innovates Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES) in 2015 to enhance the development of its zinc-air fuel cell and prioritize the development of larger systems for deployment in Alberta's micro generation systems.

The Vancouver-based company developed a patented regenerative zinc-air flow battery that efficiently stores energy in the form of zinc particles and contains none of the traditional high cost battery commodities such as lithium, vanadium or cobalt. The technology allows for low cost mass storage of energy and can be deployed into a wide range of applications, the company said.

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 the quantity of recharged zinc fuel, making scalability a major advantage of the flow battery system.

The system can operate as a traditional engine in the sense that the zinc electrolyte of the fuel and can be stored and used in the same way other fuels are used. The system can be self-contained but can also be filled with charged electrolyte just as a car is filled at a gas station.

The zinc-air flow battery also has the ability to charge and discharge simultaneously and at different maximum charge or discharge rates since each of the charge and discharge circuits is separate and independent, according to MGX. 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 and discharge components.