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ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

June 29th, 2017 - HIGH PURITY IRON PRODUCED FROM LAC DORÉ TITANO-MAGNETITE USING HYDROELECTRICITY


MONTREAL, QC June 29th, 2017 We are pleased to announce that pure electrolytic iron was recovered directly from vanadiferous titanomagnetite (VTM) concentrate prepared from drill cores from VanadiumCorp’s Lac Doré Vanadium Project. Phase II development of Vanadiumcorp-Electrochem Process technology progesses on schedule: (1) the first large reactor designed with a nameplate capacity of 300 kg/month of VTM was successfully installed at Electrochem Technologies & Materials Inc. facilities in Boucherville using readily available industrial equipment required for production scale-up. Additional customized items will be installed to accommodate the specificity of the patent pending VanadiumCorp-Electrochem technology. (2) Crystals of ferrous sulfate heptahydrate (copperas) were successfully crystallized from the pregnant liquor and allowed the electrowinning of pure electrolytic iron using Electrochem’s patented technology. This represents the first time pure electrolytic iron metal was processed from Lac Dore vanadiferous titanomagnetite using hydroelectricity. This demonstrates the potential of implementing this integrated CO2 free iron making process. (3) In parallel, 5 kg batches of VTM were processed using a gallon-size vessel in order to confirm results obtained during Phase I with a particular attention on the consumption of chemicals, energy and water. So far the results confirmed a specific consumption of sulfuric acid close to stoichiometry and a low water utilization allowing to produce highly concentrated liquors suitable for recovering efficiently iron, vanadium, titanium, and silica products. The energy consumption was kept at a minimum relying on the exothermic character of the chemical reactions involved that will allow an autogenous mode of operation when performed industrially. (4) Once fully operational, the large reactor will allow efficient assessment of the technology robustness and to further optimize its design prior to building additional reactors and equipment as Phase II continues toward a targeted nameplate capacity of 1 tonne per month of VTM. (5) Processing other vanadiferous concentrates and metallurgical by-products supplied from various industrial partners worldwide is also expected to facilitate scale-up to 1 tonne per month capacity and the beginning of Phase III. (6) Consistent yields and recoveries (+95%) remain consistent in Phase II confirming the industrial potential of the new and greener technology that can now be applied to other vanadiferous feedstocks, hematite, vanadium slags from steel making, iron ores, and non-monetized calcine from primary vanadium producers that all containing elevated concentrations of iron which are not currently processed efficiently or at all by existing conventional technologies. Finally, we are currently focussing on the preparation on vanadium chemicals and the vanadium electrolyte (VE) for qualification by end users. .[For more details please refer to the official news release from VanadiumCorp.]
ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

April 13th, 2017 - VANADIUMCORP-ELECTROCHEM PHASE I COMPLETED

MONTREAL, QC April 13th, 2017 We are pleased to announce that together with Vancouver based company, VanadiumCorp Resource Inc. (TSX-V: “VRB”) we have completed Phase I development of Vanadiumcorp-Electrochem Process Technology following several months of extensive test work conducted at Electrochem Technologies & Materials Inc. facilities in Boucherville, Quebec. This represents a major milestone in advancing towards pilot testing, scheduled to begin after Phase II. Phase I established critical success and optimization through direct recovery performed by hydrometallurgical and chemical processing of vanadiferous titanomagnetite (VTM) concentrate that was extracted, prepared and beneficiated by IOS Services Geoscientifiques Inc. , directly from the VRB's 100% owned Lac Dore Vanadium Project in Chibougamau, Quebec. This confirmed efficient recovery of vanadium and iron values using the jointly owned Vanadiumcorp-Electrochem patent pending technology. Consistent yields and recoveries (+95%) were obtained confirmed the industrial potential of the new and greener technology that can now be applied to other vanadiferous feedstocks containing elevated concentrations of iron which are not currently processed by existing conventional technologies. Specific attention was made during the successive campaigns in Phase I to establish accurate materials and energy balances, to optimize the heat and mass transfer during each operation unit, and to minimize the consumption of chemicals and utilities by recycling the various streams back to the process. Moreover, the main chemical stages were performed using reactors and equipment similar to those used industrially for facilitating the future scale-up. For Phase II, the Vanadiumcorp-Electrochem technology will incorporate Electrochem's globally patented technology for electrowinning to produce high purity electrolytic iron. Scaling the process will require bigger infrastructure such as reactors to process larger batches of VTM for producing vanadium pentoxide, vanadium electrolyte and electrolytic iron for final qualification by potential end users. Phase II will also allow VRB to assess the robustness of the fully integrated technologies by processing other vanadiferous concentrates and metallurgical by-products supplied from various industrial partners worldwide. Based on the success of Phase I, VanadiumCorp and Electrochem are both confident about the disruptive integrated approach having a profound impact for processing vanadium and iron feedstocks in Canada and abroad with an exclusive, environmentally friendly technology developed in Quebec, Canada.[For more details please refer to the official news release from VanadiumCorp.]
ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

February 28th, 2017 - New Technology for Recovering Iron and Vanadium from Vanadiferous Titanomagnetite

MONTREAL, QC February 28th, 2017 We are pleased to announce that Electrochem Technologies & Materials Inc. has applied jointly with Vancouver based company, VanadiumCorp Resource Inc. (TSX-V: “VRB”) for a US provisional patent application (US 62/463,411) for a combined metallurgical and chemical process following the successful test work commenced at our facilities in Boucherville. The testing campaign commenced in 2016  yielded high recoveries of both iron and vanadium values from a vanadiferous titanomagnetite concentrate that was extracted, prepared and beneficiated by IOS Geoscientifiques Inc. (Chicoutimi, QC) from the VanadiumCorp  100% owned Lac Dore Vanadium Project. Conventional pyrometallurgical processes utilize either direct soda ash roasting of the magnetite followed by water leaching, or the arc smelting and slagging of the magnetite followed by soda ash roasting of the vanadium-rich slag. Smelting or roasting is capital intensive with high operating costs, technical risks and significant emissions of greenhouse gases that pose serious environmental issues. Hydrometallurgical processes for the extraction of vanadium have been proposed in the last decade as a lower cost alternative in replacement of the conventional processes but they fail to produce an iron co-product. The Vanadiumcorp-Electrochem Technology addresses these key issues and allows the full recovery of vanadium for the production of either a vanadium electrolyte (VE) or a vanadium chemicals used for preparing vanadium battery electrolyte as well as the concurrent production of a high quality and competitive iron co-product. [For more details please refer to the official news release from VanadiumCorp.]
ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

February 9th, 2017 - NON-BINDING memorandum of understanding (MoU) SIGNED WITH VANADIUMCORP RESOURCES INC.

MONTREAL, QC February 7th, 2017 We are pleased to announce that we have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding “MOU” with Vancouver based  company, VanadiumCorp Resource Inc. (TSX-V: “VRB”) to collaborate on metallurgical and electrochemical technologies to produce vanadium electrolyte (VE) directly from vanadiferous titaniferous magnetite (VTM)) concentrate. The non-binding MOU will allow the two companies to collaborate on a number of key strategic initiatives including: (1) the development for the production of vanadium-rich pregnant solution as precursor for the VE  and other specialty high purity vanadium materials; (2) the development and commercialization of efficient and environmentally friendly metallurgical and electrochemical processing technologies including the simultaneous removal of contaminant metals and the concurrent regeneration of chemicals; and finally (3) to pursue reasonable efforts to enter into a definitive agreement within 12 months from the effective date of signing for the non-binding MOU. [For more details please refer to the official news release from VanadiumCorp.]
ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

November 24th, 2016 - SMALL SCALE PRODUCTION OF TANTALUM, NIOBIUM & TUNGSTEN FINE CHEMICALS FOR SUPPLYING NICHE MARKETS

MONTREAL, QC November 24th, 2016  ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC. has started the small scale production of tantalum, niobium and tungsten fina chemicals. These compounds are produced on-demand from tantalum, niobium and tungsten by-products and concentrates using our patented pyro- and hydrometallurgical process (Canadian Patent No. 2,849,787 C). Among the products sold are: sodium hexaniobiate (Na8Nba6O19), sodium hexatantalate (Na8Ta6O19), potassium hexatantalate (K8Ta6O19), tantalum pentoxide (technical), niobium pentoxide (technical),  alkali-metals ortho-tungstates (M2WO4), metatungstates M6[H2W12O40] and heteropolytungstates Mx[EW12O40] with M = Li, Na, K, Cs and E = Si, and P.
ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

September 2nd, 2016 - PYROMETALLURGICAL & HYDROMETALLURGICAL PROCESSING OF VANADIUM FEEDSTOCK's

MONTREAL, QC September 2nd, 2016 We are pleased to announce that we have completed  last summer a testing campaign for the processing  of vanadium rich feedstocks from various origins such as vanadium-rich slag, vanadiferous titanomagnetite, and vanadium-rich residues. Electrochem Technologies & Materials Inc. was selected because our strong know-how in  molten salts and high temperature alkaline processing capabilities. The campaign consisted first to perform the pyrometallurgical treatment of 25-kg batches of raw materials by soda ash roasting, alkaline roasting and salt roasting using our 12-kW kiln. The roasted or sintered material underwent hydrometallurgical operation units such as alkaline and acid leaching using counter current cascade leaching reactors and producing 75 liters per batch of pregnant leach solution (PLS). Afterwards,  vanadium was precipitated from the PLS either as ammonium metavanadate (NH4VO3) or hydrated vanadium pentoxide (V2O5.250H2O). Finally at the end of the campaign, our patented electrowinning technology was used to recover either metallic iron or an iron-vanadium deposit from the sulfate based pregnant leach solutions while regenerating concentrated sulfuric acid to be reused back in the process.  This campaign was to some extent in line with the expertise that was developped in-house over the years by our company for  the metallurgical and chemical processing of refractory metals of group VB(5) (V, Nb, Ta) and group VIB(6) (Cr, Mo, W). 
ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

July 4th, 2016 - Recycling red mud by sulfation roasting & electrowinning of iron

MONTREAL, QC July 4th, 2016 We are pleased to announce that we have produced metallic iron and iron-rich alloy using our patented electrowinning technology from both ferrous sulfate heptahydrate (copperas) and pregnant leach solutions (PLS) obtained during the recycling of red mud by  sulfation roasting (i.e., sulfation baking). The process under scrutiny by some alumina producers consists to react concentrated sulfuric acid with red mud. The aim is to recover various aluminum by-products (Na-alum, K-alum, aluminum sulfate) and perform the neutralization and dewatering while yielding gypsum and sodium sulfate. However, the elevate concentration of ferric iron along with traces of chromium, vanadium, manganese, zinc, and nickel in the waste end-up almost entirely in the pregnant  leach solution (PLS) and they must be removed prior to recover aluminum salts. Two options were tested: first the electrowinning was performed directly on the PLS yielding an iron-rich alloy containing traces of Mn, Cr, Zn, Ni,  and V while the second option consisted to electrolyze a concentrated solution of copperas by-produced after reduction and crystallization from the PLS producing metallic iron  By adjusting the proper pH, the colloidal silica, gypsum, and titania in the PLS migrated towards the cathode ending trapped inside the deposit hence they were not impacting adversely the performances of the anion exchange membranes. Based on the excellent space time yield and low specific energy consumption, we are confident that combining sulfation-roasting and iron electrowinning could represent a possible route for neutralizing, dewatering, recycling and valorizing red mud for geographical locations having access to concentrated sulfuric acid (e.g., nearby smelters) and affordable electricity (e.g., hydro, nuclear). From an environmental standpoint, our electrowinning process also recycles concurrently the sulfuric acid and generate oxygen gas with a very low carbon foot print when compared to the thermal roasting route. The samples of PLS and copperas supplied originated from given red mud chemistries and they are not necessarily representative of all landfills. Therefore, additional test work will be required to confirm the industrial applicability of such fully integrated process.  As our  patent technology is now granted and pending in several jurisdictions (Canada, China, Japan, South Africa, European Union, Brazil, and India) where red mud represents a serious environmental issue, we are in a favorable position to investigate this synergistic approach with other alumina refiners.
ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

May 21st, 2016 - PATENTS GRANTED FOR ELECTROWINNING IRON & IRON-RICH ALLOYS & RECYCLING SULFURIC ACID FROM COPPERAS, MINING WASTES, & METALLURGICAL EFFLUENTS, & SPENT PICKLING LIQUORS

MONTREAL, QC May 21st, 2016  We are pleased to announce that the patent entitled Electrochemical process for the recovery of metallic iron and sulfuric acid values from iron-rich sulfate wastes, mining residues, and pickling liquors  is now granted and enforced for twenty years in several jurisdictions (Canada, China, Japan, South Africa) while it is pending approval in the European Union (EU), Brazil, and India . The technology was successfully applied to copperas (ferrous sulfate heptahydrate) from the titanium process industries, spent pickling liquors (SPL) from metal processing facilities , pregnant leach solutions (PLS) from the metallurgical industries, and  also recently to acid mine drainage (AMD) from mining sites. This versatile technology produces either pure electrolytic iron or high value iron-rich alloys containing  also Ni, Co, Cr, Mn, Cu, Zn, and V. The final product is in the form of stripped foils, flakes, or even powder depending on the operating conditions  and the type of electrolyzer design. The total metals concentration in the feed solution ranged from few grams per liter as in acid mine drainage (AMD) up to hundred of grams per liter as with make-up copperas solutions.  The process is also robust as it withstand suspended matter such as colloidal silica, titania, and particulate graphite (smut).
ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

April 28th, 2016 - SEPARATION BY ION EXCHANGE OF TERBIUM, EUROPIUM, GADOLINIUM, YTTRIUM, & LANTHANUM FROM RECYCLED FLUORESCENT LAMPS

MONTREAL, QC – April 28th, 2016 – We are pleased to announce that ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.  has started a third prototype (50 L/day) campaign for  the separation of the five rare earth elements (Y, La, Eu, Gd, and Tb) from a concentrated solution obtained from the processing  of phosphors powder using our patented technology. The separation is performed by ion exchange (IX) resins with pH-gradient elution.  The target is to achieve faster separation of yttrium, europium, gadolinium and terbium with the same resolutions obtained previously. The main objective of the campaign is to determine the best eluents chemistries, to increase the flow rate, to select the best IX resin formulations.  New samples of pure rare earth compounds will be send for qualification to end users soon. From this third extensive campaign, we expect to refine previous operating costs  (OPEX) and CAPEX related to a future commercial scale operation. Actually, in the case of only four or five lanthanides to be separated without major contaminants and because of the small scale required for the recycling of phosphors powders, ion exchange is actually a very competitive separation technique, beside it is proven commercially. Finally, the degradation of the IX resin is very small under the mild operating conditions and hence the replacement costs for the resins does not impact significantly the OPEX. The next step will be to build a larger mobile separation unit in order to process 1000 liters of concentrated solution per day. The unit that will be mounted on skid  will be installed at our partner plant site.
ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

March 17th, 2016 - NOTICE OF ALLOWANCE FOR THE CANADIAN PATENT APPLICATION FOR ELECTROWINNING IRON & IRON-RICH ALLOYS & RECYCLING SULFURIC ACID FROM COPPERAS, MINING WASTES, & SPENT PICKLING LIQUORS

MONTREAL, QC March 17th, 2016  We are pleased to announce that the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has issued a notice of allowance for the patent application No. 2,717,887, entitled Electrochemical process for the recovery of metallic iron and sulfuric acid values from iron-rich sulfate wastes, mining residues, and pickling liquors. The final fees were paid and we expect patent issuance within CIPO's usual timeframe of 9 to 12 weeks. This new patent win our portfolio will give us exclusivity for the use of this invention in Canada  for a period of twenty years following the filing date (April 14th, 2009). Consequently, ELECTROCHEM is now well positioned to advance our efforts to commercialize this breakthrough technology with our current industrial partners.
ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC

February 25th, 2016 - PURE TANTALUM PENTOXIDE & SODIUM METATUNGSTATE FOR QUALIFICATION BY END USERS

MONTREAL, QC February 24th, 2016  ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.  has shipped a second batch of  tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5) and sodium metatungstate [Na6(H2W12O40)] to selected end users for testing and qualification. These compounds were produced at the semi-pilot scale from tantalum and tungsten by-products and concentrates using our patented pyro- and hydrometallurgical process (Canadian Patent No. 2,849,787 C). Initially, blue tungsten trioxide was prepared but it was decided to produce sodium metatungstate instead to address niche markets such as heavy media separation among other uses. A small portion of the tantalum pentoxide produced was utilized last January for preparing tantalum crystals and tantalum metal powder by electrowinning in molten salt electrolytes. This latter option could allow the company to expand the range of refractory metal services and products offered.
ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC. CANADIAN PATENT CA 2,878,486 C

February 9th, 2016 - ELECTROCHEM GRANTED PATENT FOR RECYCLING RARE EARTHS FROM FLUORESCENT LAMPS IN CANADA

MONTREAL, QC February 9th, 2016 We are pleased to announce that the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has granted the Canadian patent No. 2,878,486, entitled PROCESS FOR RECOVERING RARE EARTH OXIDES FROM PHOSPHORS, FLUORESCENT LAMPS AND LIGHT BULBS, CATHODE RAY TUBES AND OTHER INDUSTRIAL WASTES. This new patent in our portfolio will give ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC. exclusivity for the use of this invention in Canada for a period of twenty years following the filing date (November 08th, 2013). Consequently, ELECTROCHEM is now well positioned to advance our efforts to commercialize this breakthrough technology with our current industrial partners and lamps recycler who did assess the entire process at the semi-pilot scale in 2014 and 2015 with a nominal production rate of 50 kg/day. These results have shown an OPEX as low as $3.00 per kilogram of phosphors powder processed including retorting.

January 2016 - TANTALUM & NIOBIUM METAL CRYSTALS & POWDERS FROM MOLTEN SALT ELECTROWINNING

MONTREAL, QC January 12th, 2016 ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC. is pleased to announced that it has just completed for a client a one-month intensive campaign to perform the electrowinning of niobium (Nb), and tantalum (Ta) crystals and powders from tantalum and niobium pentoxides. These tantalum and niobium pentoxides were obtained from the processing of the client's tantalum and niobium concentrates using our patented technology. The prototype scale of these experiments was identical to the one devised in the 2014's campaign. During the processing a particular attention was made: (1) to introduce continuously tantalum and/or niobium pentoxides into the melt to reduce the anode effect and allows to operate at very high current density, (2)  to control and stabilize the ubiquitous air oxidation when harvesting the Ta & Nb pyrophoric metal crystals, and finally (3) to perform the efficient removal of entrapped solidified salt without compromizing the final purity and introducing contaminants. Afterwards, several batches of tantalum and niobium metal powders or their alloys were sent to an external processing facility for being cold isostatic pressed, sintered, and then melted under high vacuum or inert gas atmosphere for producing bulky metallic slugs for qualification by the client's end users.

November 2015 - NOTICE OF ALLOWANCE FOR THE PATENT APPLICATION FOR RECYCLING HEAVY RARE EARTH OXIDES FROM PHOSPHORS POWDER & SPENT FLUORESCENT LAMPS

MONTREAL, QC November 28th, 2015 We are pleased to announce that the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has issued a notice of allowance for the patent application No. 2,878,486, entitled PROCESS FOR RECOVERING RARE EARTH OXIDES FROM PHOSPHORS, FLUORESCENT LAMPS AND LIGHT BULBS, CATHODE RAY TUBES AND OTHER INDUSTRIAL WASTES.  The final fees were paid and we expect patent issuance within CIPO's usual timeframe of 9 to 12 weeks. This new patent will give ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC. exclusivity for the use of this invention in Canada for a period of twenty years following the filing date (November 08th, 2013). The novel ELECTROCHEM's Process III is clearly increasing our growing portfolio of IP rights. Consequently, we are now well positioned to advance our efforts to commercialize this breakthrough technology with our current industrial partners who did assess the entire process at the semi-pilot scale in 2014 and 2015.

ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

October 2015 - ELECTROCHEMICAL REMEDIATION BY ELECTROCOAGULATION OF SPENT LIQUORS FROM HARD CHROMIUM PLATING

MONTREAL, QC – October 09th, 2015 – Several  prototype tests regarding the electrochemical treatment and remediation of hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] in spent acidic baths from hard chromium plating were performed using a protype electrolyzer of 50 liters nominal capacity and 1.0 m2 of total electrodes active surface area and a compact flow-through plate electrolyzer both capable to operate at 4 gallons per minute. Among the electrochemical remediation techniques used both electrocoagulation and electroderuction were tested concurrently. The impact of the chemical composition of various sacrificial metallic anodes was investigated thoroughly to select the most efficient commercial grade. Actually, some plating additives especially fluoride anions affect the passivation behavior of the sacrificial anode used. On the other hand, various commercial cathode materials were investigated in order to achieve the highest reducing power in order to lower the residence time and perform the highest removal rate of Cr(VI).

October 2015 - ELECTROCHEMICAL REMEDIATION BY ELECTROCOAGULATION OF SPENT LIQUORS FROM HARD CHROMIUM PLATING

MONTREAL, QC – October 09th, 2015 – Several  prototype tests regarding the electrochemical treatment and remediation of hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] in spent acidic baths from hard chromium plating were performed using a protype electrolyzer of 50 liters nominal capacity and 1.0 m2 of total electrodes active surface area and a compact flow-through plate electrolyzer both capable to operate at 4 gallons per minute. Among the electrochemical remediation techniques used both electrocoagulation and electroderuction were tested concurrently. The impact of the chemical composition of various sacrificial metallic anodes was investigated thoroughly to select the most efficient commercial grade. Actually, some plating additives especially fluoride anions affect the passivation behavior of the sacrificial anode used. On the other hand, various commercial cathode materials were investigated in order to achieve the highest reducing power in order to lower the residence time and perform the highest removal rate of Cr(VI).

ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

September 2015 - HEAVY DUTY MIXED METAL OXIDES (MMO) ANODES & CHEMICALLY ACTIVATED TITANIUM CATHODES FOR TREATING CONTAMINATED WATERS & LIQUID EFFLUENTS

MONTREAL, QC – September 15th, 2015 – Heavy duty mixed metal oxides (MMO) anodes together with chemically activated titanium cathodes were fabricated to suit the needs of a Canadian customer who is deeply involved in the electrochemical remediation of liquid effluents, and waste waters. The heavy duty electro-catalytic coating combined with a compact cylindrical design allowed our client to reduced considerably the foot print of its flow-through electrolyzers. It was possible to operate under high current densities favorable for generating highly oxidizing species and fast pumping rates improving the space time yield. Moreover, the typical bundle assemblies created highly turbulent hydraulic conditions suitable for preventing the formation of tenacious scale at the cathodes. Finally, as quick installation and desinstallationg was of paramount importance for daily maintenance, a particular mode of connecting the anodes to the busbars was achieved.

August 2015 - PROTOTYPING & PILOTING OF ION EXCHANGE MEMBRANES FOR ELECTROWINNING IRON & IRON-ALLOYS FROM COMPLEX SOLUTIONS

MONTREAL, QC – August 29th, 2015 –  In order to support the piloting of our patented technology for electrowinning iron and iron-alloys from complex sulfate-based pregnant leach solutions (PLS), effluents, sulfate brines, and spent pickling liquors (SPLs), we have completed a two-year intensive campaign in collaboration with several industrial partners from the metallurgical and chemical industries. The purpose was to qualify commercially available anion and cation exchange membranes (AEM and CEM) supplied from various manufacturers. In parallel, customized formulations were also tested to address certain demanding operating conditions (e.g., high acidity, elevate current density, high temperature).  The test work was performed at our R&D facilities in Boucherville at the prototype scale with two square foot-size electrolyzer and validated for promising grades inside pilot electrolyzers at client sites. The tests consisted to measure several intrinsic properties of the ion exchange membranes under actual conditions such as the ion exchange capacity, the permselectivity, the membrane ionic conductivity, the limiting diffusion and migration current densities, the transference numbers of various anions and cations, the proton leakage, the water permeability and electroosmosis, the service life and finally the chemical and thermal stabilities as a function of a wide range of operating conditions (e.g., temperature, acidity, ion concentrations, electrode current density, electrolyte flow regime). This campaign was critical as the technical information pertaining to ion exchange membranes for concentrated sulfate-based electrolytes under highly demanding operating conditions are scarce in the litterature including manufacturer's in-house technical data. Concurrently, the impact on the membrane performances of several metallic species occurring in some solutions such as chromium, vanadium, manganese, zinc, copper, cobalt, and nickel were assessed. Beside, these usual metals, the transference numbers and migration properties of several rare earth cations and/or their complexed anions were also measured as some PLS originated from the rare earth industries. On the other hand, the impact of large concentrations of alkali metals especially potassium sulfate and lithium sulfate were also addressed as some contaminated brines were provided by fertilizer and lithium producers. The impact of colloids and suspended matter (e.g., silica, titania, slimes, clays, metal fines, flocs) on the overall membrane performances was also addressed. The experimental results and data obtained allowed us to identify and rank the best membrane materials for obtaining the maximum recovery sulfuric acid. This campaign in addition to the qualification of the best electrode candidates de-risked our novel technology and this will speed-up the commercialization of our electrowinning process.

July 2015 - HEAVY RARE EARTH OXIDES SAMPLES FOR QUALIFICATION

MONTREAL, QC July 13th, 2015 Upon completion of a recent semi-pilot campaign with a Canadian lamp recycler several 100 g-sample of heavy rare earth oxides recovered from phosphors powder and containing only Y, La, Eu, Gd, and Tb (99.0 wt.% TREO) were shipped to interested rare earth end users and lanthanides processors in Europe and Asia for in-house testing and qualification in order to support the commercial negociations for potential off-take agreements.

June 2015 - UPGRADED TANTALUM & NIOBIUM OXIDES SAMPLES FOR QUALIFICATION

MONTREAL, QC June 1st, 2015 We are pleased to announce that several kg-sample of upgrades tantalum pentoxide and niobium pentoxide (98 to 99 wt.% Ta2O5 + Nb2O5) were shipped to interested end users and Ta-processors in North America, Europe, and Far East for in-house testing and qualification in order to support the commercial negociations for potential off-take agreements.

ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS PATENT CA 2.849,787 C

May 2015 - ELECTROCHEM GRANTED PATENT FOR UPGRADING TANTALUM & NIOBIUM OXIDES IN CANADA

MONTREAL, QC May 5th, 2015 We are pleased to announce that the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has granted the Canadian patent No. 2,849,787, entitled PROCESS FOR UPGRADING TANTALUM AND NIOBIUM ORES AND CONCENTRATES WITH THE RECOVERY OF MANGANESE AND RARE EARTHS OXIDES. This new patent in our portfolio will give ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC. exclusivity for the use of this invention in Canada for a period of twenty years following the filing date (September 24th, 2012). Consequently, ELECTROCHEM is now well positioned to advance our efforts to commercialize this breakthrough technology with our current industrial partners who did assess the entire process at the semi-pilot scale in 2014.

February 2015 - ELECTROCHEM PARTNERING WITH CANADIAN METALS FOR THE SCIENTIFIC & TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE PRODUCTION OF FERROSILICON

MONTREAL, QC February 4th, 2015 The publicly traded company CANADIAN METALS INC. has mandated ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC. for identifying, qualifying and supervising several R&D facilities worldwide. The targeted world class institutions will have to provide installations for the semi-pilot and pilot scale production of ferrosilicon. The aim of the semi-pilot testing is to demonstrate the proof-of-concept and to prepare a preliminary economic assessment. Subsequently, the results and data that will be obtained from the pilot testing campaign such as the operating conditions, the figures of merit and performances, the process flow sheet and P&ID, the plant layout and the list of equipment will be used to refine the CAPEX and OPEX for a pre-feasibility study. The final study will dictate the best scenario for producing ferrosilicon in Quebec from the quartzite quarried at Langis. Ferrosilicon is a critical additive used as master-alloy for iron making and steelmaking.

January 2015 - NOTICE OF ALLOWANCE FOR THE PATENT APPLICATION UPGRADING TANTALUM & NIOBIUM OXIDES FROM CONCENTRATES & INDUSTRIAL WASTES

MONTREAL, QC January 7th, 2015 We are pleased to announce that the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has issued a notice of allowance for the patent application No. 2,849,787, entitled PROCESS FOR UPGRADING TANTALUM AND NIOBIUM ORES AND CONCENTRATES WITH THE RECOVERY OF MANGANESE AND RARE EARTHS OXIDES. The final fees were paid and we expect patent issuance within CIPO's usual timeframe of 9 to 12 weeks. This new patent will give ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC. exclusivity for the use of this invention in Canada for a period of twenty years following the filing date (September 24th, 2012). The novel ELECTROCHEM's Process II is clearly increasing our growing portfolio of IP rights. Consequently, we are now well positioned to advance our efforts to commercialize this breakthrough technology with our current industrial partners who did assess the entire process at the semi-pilot scale in 2014.

December 2014 - SEMI-PILOT EXPERIMENTS FOR RECYCLING HEAVY RARE EARTH OXIDES FROM PHOSPHORS POWDER & SPENT FLUORESCENT LAMPS

MONTREAL, QC December 3rd, 2014 We are pleased to anounce the completion of several semi-pilot experiments for recycling heavy rare earth oxides from phosphors powders supplied by Canadian and foreign fluorescent lamp recyclers.  The large batch kiln furnace and setup can operate at a nominal production rate ranging from 25 to 50 kilograms per day (i.e., 500 kg to 1 tonne per month) depending on the feed material.  This pilot size must be compared to an annual production of only 50 tonnes of phosphors powder in Canada. The aim of this piloting campaign was to validate the industrial scale up of our patent pending technology compatible with our clients capacities.  The piloting enabled our partners to estimate the preliminary CAPEX for each client's location including the installation of a vacuum retorting unit. The first results have shown an OPEX as low as $7.00 per kilogram of phosphors powder compared to an average basket price of $95.00 per kilogram as most raw material processed contained a total rare earth oxides (TREO) ranging from 16 to 27 mass percent. Discussions and agreements with original equipment manufacturers were also started to provide reliable costs estimates for  future commercial plants and to secure partnerships and off-take agreements. Semi-continuous and continuous operating modes were also retained but not tested yet. Finally, the heavy rare earth oxides produced were used for qualification with targeted buyers.  This technology offers a sound and profitable alternative for the production of heavy rare earth elements (HREE) compared to the mining and processing of low grade ores. The later requires large tonnage operations with high CAPEX and OPEX and the unavoidable production of radioactive wastes containing mostly U and Th. During piloting, the rare earth elements were recovered by roasting and oxidation (Ce), by selective co-precipitation (Eu), and well-known separation technologies that are available commercially.  Among them, ion exchange (IX) was retained as it does not impact the operating cost significantly due to the small scale and the limited number of rare earth elements to be separated (e.g., Y, La, Gd, Tb). We are confident, that this recycling technology if implemented commercially could secure the supply of heavy rare earths in Canada where tonnes of mercury phosphors powders are produced annually by lamps recyclers from coast to coast.

ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

August 2014 - HIGH TEMPERATURE PROTOTYPE ELECTROLYZERS FOR ELECTROWINNING REFRACTORY METALS, RARE EARTH METALS, AND PLATINUM GROUP METALS (PGMs) FROM MOLTEN SALT ELECTROLYTES (MSEs)

MONTREAL, QC August 21st, 2014 Following the request made by business partners to integrate vertically our patented technologies in order to suit their needs, ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC. has just completed the installation and commissioning of high temperature molten salt electrolyzers of prototype scale denoted GENERATION I.  These versatile prototypes are used to perform electro-deposition and/or electrowinning of refractory metals such as vanadium (V), niobium (Nb), tantalum (Ta), molybdenum (Mo), and tungsten (W), rare earth metals such as neodymium (Nd), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd) and terbium (Tb), or their alloys (Nd2Fe14B). They are also used to recover platinum group metals (PGMs) especially iridium (Ir) and ruthenium (Ru) from industrial wastes such as residues from the manufacturing of mixed metal oxides (MMO) anodes or clients refurbished anodes and spent coating. The high temperature prototype electrolytic cells were designed to withstand the wide operating temperatures ranging from 450ºC until 1200ºC and hence they were constructed of heat- and corrosion-resistant metals and alloys. The current GENERATION I prototypes exhibit a maximum production capacity of 5 kg per day with external heat provided by a 5.5 kW electric furnace capable to operate 24/7 without interruption. A larger size electrolyzer denoted GENERATION II is under development with a targeted production capacity of 25 kg per day. Once the best performances (e.g., faradaic current efficiency, hourly and space time yields, and specific energy consumption) together with operating conditions (e.g., temperature, pressure, type of inert atmosphere, molten salt composition, electro-deposited metal form (ingot, powder, dendrites, coating), and purity) will be optimized for each client's project, we expect that a large pilot molten salt electrolyzer will be installed on-site at our client's facilities.


ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

June 2014 - A PROCESS THAT RECYCLES RARE EARTH ELEMENTS FROM "URBAN MINING"

NEW YORK CITY, NY June 1st, 2014 The American trade magazine CHEMICAL ENGINEERING (www.che.com) has just published its June 2014 issue including a press release describing the novel metallurgical process and entitled - A process that recovers rare-eath elements from "urban mining" - written by Gerald Ondrey [PDF file (49 kB)] .  The article is published in the CHEMENTATOR section on page 12.

ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

May 2014 - PCT OF THE INTERNATIONAL PATENT APPLICATION WO 2014/071510 (A1) PUBLISHED BY THE WIPO

MONTREAL, QC – May 15th, 2014 The World Intellectual Property Organization (www.WIPO.int) has just published the PCT of the International Patent Application WO 2014/071510 (A1) [PDF file (3 MB)] entitled - PROCESS FOR RECOVERING RARE EARTH OXIDES FROM PHOSPHORS, FLUORESCENT LAMPS AND LIGHT BULBS, CATHODE RAY TUBES AND OTHER INDUSTRIAL WASTES. -This novel process addresses the recovery of rare earths oxides from phosphor dusts, fluorescent lamps and light bulbs, cathode ray tubes and other industrial wastes containing rare earths elements in the form of halophosphates, tri-band phosphors and other fluorescent materials. The process consists: (1) to submit the wastes or spent materials to either caustic fusion or hot alkaline leaching; (2) to perform the hot alkaline leaching of the solidified melt to produce insoluble solid residues and a barren alkaline leaching solution; (3) To recover the tri-basic sodium phosphate by crystallization from the barren solution; (4) to oven-dry or calcine the insoluble solid residues; (5) to perform the hot acid leaching of the oven-dried or calcined solids; (6) to recover the cerium (IV) oxide from insoluble solids; (7) to reduce the cerium-free solution, precipitate, acid leach, precipitate, calcine and recover the europium (III) oxide; (8) to precipitate the remaining rare earths as oxalates; (9) to calcine the rare earths oxalates and dissolve the rare earths oxides in acid; (10) to separate the yttrium, gadolinium, terbium and erbium by ion exchange (IX) or solvent extraction (SX); (11) to precipitate and calcine the pure oxalates to yield pure yttrium (III) oxide, gadolinium (III) oxide, terbium (III, IV) oxides, and erbium (III) oxide; (12) Finally, to regenerate and recycle the spent alkaline solution after causticization with calcium oxide or hydroxide.

April 2014 - PILOT TESTING FOR RECOVERING TANTALUM & NIOBIUM FROM ORES, CONCENTRATES, & INDUSTRIAL WASTES

MONTREAL, QC – April 24th, 2014 –  Several campaigns for extracting tantalum and niobium at the pilot scale by the caustic fusion routes in batch mode were initiated with customers in Canada and abroad.  The new setup exhibits a maximum nameplate capacity ranging from 25 to 50 kilograms per day using large kiln furnaces. The aim of this piloting campaign was to assess the industrial scale up of our patent pending technology compatible with our clients needs for processing tantalite, columbite, pyrochlore, tin-slags, or industrial wastes (e.g., capacitors, electronic, carbides sludge).  The piloting enabled our partners to estimate the preliminary CAPEX & OPEX for each client location and to compare our novel technology with other competitive processes essentially the K-Salt or HF-process, the production of ferro-alloys by alumino-thermic reduction or arc-smelting, the hot sulfuric acid baking or sulfatation, and finally the carbo-chlorination.  The first results have shown a lower OPEX and CAPEX together with a simpler operation not requiring expensive equipment especially in the case of tantalum-rich concentrates where annual tonnages are low.  Discussions and agreements with original equipment manufacturers were also started early in order to provide reliable costs estimates for  future processing plants and to secure partnerships. Semi-continuous and continuous operating modes were also investigated for future large scale operations. Finally, the significant amount of upgraded tantalum and niobium pentoxides that are produced allowed the qualification with targeted buyers and refiners worldwide. Actually, our upgraded tantalum and niobium products, that contain more than 95 wt.% (Ta2O5 + Nb2O5) are devoid of any deleterious impurities.  This makes them a cheaper alternative competing with any kind of feed stock's or concentrates currently available commercially.

ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

March 2014 - ELECTROCHEMICAL REMEDIATION OF LIQUIDS EFFLUENTS & AGRICULTURAL WASTES

MONTREAL, QC – March 24th, 2014 – Several  tests regarding the electrochemical treatment and remediation of various liquid effluents (e.g., landfill leachate, ammonia and urea containing waters, AMD) and also agricultural wastes (e.g., hog manure) were performed in QC with several customers directly on-site with a custom made protype electrolyzer with 50 liters nominal capacity and 0.5 m2 of total electrodes active surface area. At one site, the prototype tests was followed by a one-week piloting campaign using an electrolyzer of 1.5 cubic metersand with 15 square meters of electrode surface area. Among the electrochemical remediation techniques used both electrocoagulation and electroflottation were used concurrently when large amount of suspended matter and/or heavy metals (e.g., Cu, Ni, Pb, et.)  were present while electro-oxidation with custom MMO formulation was used to degrade organic pollutants.

March 2014 - UPGRADING OF SILICA SAND & PRODUCTION OF HIGH PURITY SILICA & SILICATES

MONTREAL, QC – March 12th, 2014 – The publicly traded company Canadian Metals Inc. announced that it has retained the services of Electrochem Technologies & Materials Inc. to conduct a series of tests aimed at demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of converting silica sand from the Langis silica deposit into various high value-added products for industrial applications. The Corporation is therefore turning to the know-how and industrial expertise of Electrochem Technologies & Materials Inc. to help meet these criteria, by defining: (1) All possible ways of obtaining a silica sand or purified lump quartzite required for the proposed industrial application; (2) Relatively simple operating procedures that use readily-available commercial reagents and have a lower operating cost (OPEX): (3) A process that has a lower capital investment (CAPEX) and is therefore easy to set up; (4) A proposed method that is safe from an H&SE perspective and not environmentally restrictive, while minimizing the volume of waste. Canadian Metals wishes to determine the best process for its silica sand quickly, and therefore aims to obtain evidence through a series of laboratory tests to be performed by Electrochem on samples from a multi-kilogram batch of concentrate obtained by enrichment during a previous program conducted at the CTMP laboratory. In line with the above, Electrochem Technologies & Materials will therefore start an initial phase of work (Phase 1) aimed at demonstrating the applicability of a technology and its technical and economic feasibility.

February 2014 - PATENT GRANTED FOR ELECTROWINNING IRON & RECOVERING SULFURIC ACID IN JAPAN

MONTREAL, QC February 7th, 2014 We are pleased to announce that the Japan Patent Office (JPO), has granted the Japanese Patent JP 5,469,157 B2 entitled Electrochemical process for the recovery of metallic iron and sulfuric acid values from iron-rich sulfate wastes, mining residues, and pickling liquors. This new patent in our portfolio will give us exclusivity for the use of this invention in Japan  for a period of twenty years following the filing date. Consequently, ELECTROCHEM is now well positioned to advance our efforts to commercialize this breakthrough technology with our current industrial partners.

November 2013 - FILING OF PCT INTERNATIONAL PATENT APPLICATION FOR THE PROCESS FOR RECOVERING RARE EARTH OXIDES (REOs) FROM PHOSPHORS, FLUORESCENT LAMPS & LIGHT BULBS, CATHODE RAY TUBES (CRTs) & OTHER INDUSTRIAL WASTES

MONTREAL, QC – November 9th, 2013 –  Based on the results obtained during the recent testing campaign for recovering rare earth oxides (REOs), especially oxides of yttrium (Y), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd), and terbium (Tb) from spent phosphors dust and fluorescent light bulbs containing mostly halo-phosphates compounds, we are pleased to announce the filing of a PCT International Patent Application. This new application claims the benefit of priority of the co-pending US provisional patent application (61/724,022) filed on November 8th, 2012 with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). The claimed processing and recycling  technology offers a sound and profitable alternative for the production of heavy rare earth elements (HREEs) compared to the mining of low grade ore deposits that require large tonnage operations having a high CAPEX and OPEX and the unavoidable production of radioactive wastes containing mostly U and Th.  This novel urban mining technology can secure the supply of affordable HREEs especially in Canada where several tons of HREE-rich mercury phosphors powders are generated monthly by lamps recyclers and that are readily available from coast to coast. Moreover, because the limited number of rare earth elements present in the final pregnant leach solution and the very small scale operation required, existing rare earth separation technologies, that are readily available commercially such as ion exchange resins, can be used directly without impacting the operating costs significantly.

October 2013 - EXPANDING OUR PRODUCTION & R&D INSTALLATIONS

MONTREAL, QC – October 24th, 2013 ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC. is proud to announce the recent expansion of its production and R&D facilities both located in Boucherville (QC). Doubling the floor space was required in order to address the strong demand for MMO anodes from our Canadian customers.  Concurrently, we have also increased the foot-print occupied by MMO testing benches and by our custom built PROTOTYPE II mobile electrowinning units for supporting the development and scale-up of our technologies with our industrial partners.

ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

June 2013 - A CLEANER, SAFER WAY TO OBTAIN TANTALUM & NIOBIUM

NEW YORK CITY, NY June 1st, 2013 The American trade magazine CHEMICAL ENGINEERING (www.che.com) has just published its June 2013 issue including a press release describing the novel metallurgical process and entitled - A cleaner, safer way to obtain tantalum and niobium - written by Gerald Parkinson [PDF File (294 KB)].  The article is published in the CHEMENTATOR section on page 14.

May 2013 - STARTING PRODUCTION OF INDUSTRIAL ELECTRODES IN BOUCHERVILLE (QC)

MONTREAL, QC – May 10th, 2013 ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC. is proud to announce the production at its facilities in Boucherville (QC), of industrial mixed metal oxides (MMOs) anodes for both oxygen and chlorine evolution in order to address the specific needs of Canadian customers from the mining, metallurgical, and electrochemical industries and also to support our own electrowinning technologies at client’s sites worldwide.  For instance, our iridium-coated MMO anodes are particularly suitable for operating under high anode current densities in harsh environments such as hot and concentrated sulfuric acid, an anolyte used in novel electrowinning processes [Industrial Electrodes Products].

ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

March 2013 - PCT OF THE INTERNATIONAL PATENT APPLICATION WO 2013/040694 (A1) PUBLISHED BY THE WIPO

MONTREAL, QC – March 29th, 2013 The World Intellectual Property Organization (www.WIPO.int) has just published the PCT of the International Patent Application WO 2013/040694 (A1) [PDF file (3 MB)] entitled - Process for upgrading tantalum and niobium ores and concentrates with the recovery of manganese and rare earths oxides. - Process for upgrading tantalum and niobium ores and concentrates is described herein. The process comprising: a) submitting the ore or concentrate to a caustic fusion or an alkali fusion using a melt comprising at least one salt of an alkali metal to produce a solidified melt; b) submitting the solidified melt to an alkaline leaching step to produce an alkaline pregnant leaching solution comprising manganese values; c) recovering the manganese values from the alkaline pregnant leaching solution to produce a substantially manganese-free leach solution; and d) precipitating tantalum and niobium as an insoluble sodium niobiate and tantalate from the manganese-free leach solution. Acid leaching the sodium niobiate and tantalate to yield a mixture of pure niobium and tantalum oxides. The rare earth oxides are recovered from the insoluble residues obtained during alkaline leaching.

December 12th, 2012 - PATENT GRANTED FOR ELECTROWINNING IRON & RECOVERING SULFURIC ACID IN CHINA

MONTREAL, QC December 12th, 2012 We are pleased to announce that the Chinese Patent & Trademark Office (CHPTO), has granted the Chinese Patent CN 102084034 A entitled Electrochemical process for the recovery of metallic iron and sulfuric acid values from iron-rich sulfate wastes, mining residues, and pickling liquors. This new patent in our portfolio will give us exclusivity for the use of this invention in the People Republic of China  for a period of twenty years following the filing date. Consequently, ELECTROCHEM is now well positioned to advance our efforts to commercialize this breakthrough technology with our current industrial partners with metallurgical plants located in mainland China.

November 2012 - PROCESS FOR RECOVERING RARE EARTH OXIDES (REOs) FROM PHOSPHORS, FLUORESCENT LAMPS & LIGHT BULBS, CATHODE RAY TUBES (CRTs) & OTHER INDUSTRIAL WASTES

MONTREAL, QC – November 8th, 2012 –  Following the testing in the laboratory of a process for recovering rare earth oxides (REOs), especially oxides of yttrium (Y), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd), and terbium (Tb) from spent phosphors and fluorescent light bulbs containing mostly halophosphates compounds, we are pleased to announce the filing of a new US provisional patent application (61/724,022) on November 8th, 2012 with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). The technology offers a safer and greener alternative to the industrial processing routes currently investigated by other companies by avoiding the utilization of harmful chemicals that poses serious occupational health and safety issues in the work place and by recycling most of the chemicals in order to minimize the environmental foot-print.

September 2012 - NEW PCT INTERNATIONAL PATENT APPLICATION FOR UPGRADING TANTALUM & NIOBIUM ORES & CONCENTRATES WITH RECOVERY OF MANGANESE & RARE EARTHS OXIDES

MONTREAL, QC – September 24th, 2012 –  Based on the encouraging results obtained during the recent testing campaign for the recovery of tantalum and niobium from various ores and concentrates, we are pleased to announce the filing of a PCT International Patent Application. This new application claims the benefit of priority of the co-pending US provisional patent application (61/538,273) that was originally filed on September 23rd, 2011 with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).

August 2012 - BENCHMARKING OF ANODES & MEMBRANES FOR ELECTROWINNING IRON

MONTREAL, QC – August 19th, 2012 –  Following the previous testing of the electrowinning of iron metal and iron-rich alloys, a new campaign was started to benchmark several industrial anode materials together with the anion exchange membranes supplied from various manufacturers.  The industrial anode materials tested were mixed metal oxides (MMOs) anodes, and various lead anodes.  The testing consisted to perform accelerated service life tests in sulfuric acid at elevate temperature under elevate current density in order to mimic the conditions existing inside the anode compartment.  The experimental data obtained allowed us to determine the maximum sulfuric acid recovery together with the maximum anodic charge per unit surface area and expressed in millions ampere-hours per square meter (MAh/m2) that each anode formulation can withstand prior deactivation. Moreover, it was possible to correlate the actual service life in years with the catalyst loading for MMOs or the corrosion rate in the case of lead anodes.  The detailed polarization plots together with the relevant electrode kinetics parameters (e.g., Tafel's coefficients, polarization resistance) were recorded and measured at regular intervals over the entire duration of the service life tests. The impact of deleterious impurities such as fluoride anions and traces of organics from the degradation of the membranes was also investigated. The experimental results obtained will allow us to identify and to rank the best commercially available materials according to each manufacturers.  Regarding the anion exchange membranes, the same approach was use and the testing consisted to measure the proton transport number as a function of the acid concentration, the current density, and the temperature, to measure the proton leakage, the membrane ionic conductivity and finally the water permeability at various stages in the aging process. Once these experiments completed, we will be able to select the best candidates for each materials.

June 2012 - TESTING OF TANTALUM, NIOBIUM & RARE EARTH OXIDES RECOVERY FROM ORES & CONCENTRATES

MONTREAL, QC – June 18th, 2011 –  The comprehensive testing of a technology for extracting tantalum and niobium values together with manganese and rare earth oxides (REOs) from tantalum and niobium ores and concentrates was initiated on actual concentrate samples supplied by several interested tantalum and niobium processors.  The testing campaign is expected to be completed at the end of the summer.  Simultaneously, the electrochemical recovery of reactants and chemicals will be assessed, using a laboratory electrolyzer, on the waste streams by-produced.  For certain samples such as samarskite that contains significant concentration of rare earths elements a particular attention will be made to recover the rare earth oxides (REOs) and separate quantitatively both cerium (Ce) and europium (Eu) from the remaining lanthanides.

ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

March 2012 - ELECTROWINNING IRON-RICH ALLOYS FROM PREGNANT LEACH SOLUTIONS (PLS)

MONTREAL, QC – March 15th, 2012–  After eight months of laboratory and prototype testwork, we are pleased to announce the completion of a campaign for electrowinning iron-rich alloys from actual pregnant leach solutions (PLS) originating from the non-ferrous mining and metallurgical industries. The testing allowed to identify the best operating conditions (i.e., cathode current density, temperature, pH, flow rate, metals ratio) to recover efficiently an iron-rich alloy either as powder or as flakes. Among all the chemical elements encountered in these actual PLS vanadium was one of the most challenging due to its highly negative deposition potential. The testing allowed to push the operating limits for obtaining a high value alloy that meet all the customer requirements and specifications.  Actually, the  testing  has demonstrated the robustness of the process with the possibility to perform the electrowinning at acidic pH and at elevate cathode current density of 1000 A/m2 and above with high faradaic current efficiencies that are compatible with a  profitable commercial operation. Several electrolyzer designs (e.g., plates and frames, tubular, tank, etc.) were also benchmarked during this campaign to address several technical constrains.

September 2011 - PROCESS FOR UPGRADING TANTALUM & NIOBIUM ORES & CONCENTRATES

MONTREAL, QC – September 18th, 2011 –  After several months of intensive laboratory and prototype test work, we are pleased to announce the completion of a campaign for investigating novel pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical processes for upgrading tantalum and niobium (columbium) ores and concentrates.  The purpose of the laboratory test work was to establish the best processing routes and operating conditions for producing a mixture of high purity tantalum and niobium pentoxides (Ta2O5 + Nb2O5) from tantalum and niobium ores and concentrates originating from numerous ore deposits or mining locations (e.g., North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania). The process offers a safer and greener alternative to the current industrial processing routes by avoiding the utilization of harmful chemicals that poses serious occupational health and safety issues in the work place and by recycling most of the chemicals in order to minimize the environmental foot-print. Actually, the process includes the electrochemical regeneration of reactants and concurrent recovery of iron and manganese together with the separation of rare earths oxides (REOs) as saleable co-products. The robustness of the entire process was assessed with ores and concentrates from various mineralogies and chemistries especially concentrates made of tantalilte, wodginite, microlite, columbite, pyrochlore, samarskite, euxinite and fergusonite

August 31st, 2011 - PATENT GRANTED FOR ELECTROWINNING IRON & RECOVERING SULFURIC ACID IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA (RSA)

MONTREAL, QC August 31st, 2011 We are pleased to announce that the South African Patent Office (ZAPTO), has granted the South African Patent ZA 2010/07214 entitled Electrochemical process for the recovery of metallic iron and sulfuric acid values from iron-rich sulfate wastes, mining residues, and pickling liquors. This new patent in our portfolio will give us exclusivity for the use of this invention in the Republic of South Africa for a period of twenty years following the filing date. Consequently, ELECTROCHEM is now well positioned to advance our efforts to commercialize this breakthrough technology with our current industrial partners.

April 2011 - US PATENT APPLICATION PUBLISHED

MONTREAL, QC – April 21st, 2011 – The US Patent and Trademark Office (www.USPTO.gov) has just published the US Patent Application 2011/0089045 (A1) entitled - Electrochemical process for the recovery of metallic iron and sulfuric acid values from iron-rich sulfate wastes, mining residues, and pickling liquors [PDF file (1.3 MB)]

ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

March 2011 - NEW ELECTROCHEMICAL & MATERIALS LABORATORY

MONTREAL, QC – March 1st, 2011 – A new fully equipped 700-square-foot electrochemical & materials laboratory is now operational.  The purpose of the laboratory is to perform semi-industrial trials and accelerated service life testing with prototype electrolyzers using electrodes up to 6 square feet (0.557 m2) for various electrochemical processes including the electrowinning of iron and regeneration of sulfuric acid from weak acid, copperas, pickling liquors and other iron-rich sulfate wastes from the mining and metallurgical industries. The laboratory is also equipped for testing novel pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical processing routes for the recovery of scarce and rare metals (Li, V, Nb, Ta, W, REEs, Th, etc.) from ores and concentrates, mining residues, metallurgical wastes and industrial effluents.  Finally, the laboratory is also concurrently used for supporting several industrial client's projects worldwide.

January 2011 - GREEN PROCESS FOR ELECTROWINNING OF IRON & REGENERATING SULFURIC ACID

MONTREAL, QC – January15th, 2011 The American trade magazine ADVANCED MATERIALS & PROCESSES (AMP) published monthly by ASM International (www.asminternational.org) has just published its January 2011 issue including a press release describing the novel electrochemical technology entitled - Green Process for Electrowinning of Iron and Regenerating Sulfuric Acid.  The article is published in the Industry News & Process Technology section on page 12 [PDF file (116 KB)].

October 2010 - ELECTROWINNING OF IRON'S PATENT ENTERS IN NATIONAL AND REGIONAL PHASES

MONTREAL, QCOctober 15th, 2010Patent attorneys from BCF have filed on behalf of Dr. Francois CARDARELLI several patent applications at the following patent offices: the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), the Australian Patent Office (IP Australia), the European Patent Office (EPO), the South African Patent Office (CIPRO), the Brazilian Patent Office (INPIB), the Indian Patent Office (IPINDIA), the Chinese Patent & Trademark Office (CPTO), and finally the Japanese Patent Office (JPO). This decision was made in order to secure the intellectual property worldwide regarding the highly innovative and promising electrochemical technology for electrowinning iron metal and concurrently regenerating sulfuric acid from iron-rich sulfate wastes. This novel electrochemical process will enable a cost effective production of iron metal and sulfuric acid from various mining and metallurgical wastes as well as from spent pickling liquors or even pregnant leach solutions originating from the acid leaching of low grade iron ores and concentrates.

September 2010 - ELECTROWINNING OF IRON - BUSINESS PLAN COMPLETED

MONTREAL, QC – September 3rd, 2010A detailed business plan for the commercialization of the electrowinning of iron and regeneration of sulfuric acid from copperas and other iron-rich sulfate wastes has been completed. The business plan describes first the important technical, economical and environmental issues related the generation of large tonnage of iron-rich sulfate wastes and effluents by-produced annually by the mining and metallurgical industries worldwide. The focus is made especially on the titanium white pigment industry, the iron and steel making industries and also on the hydrometallurgical processing of various nonferrous ores and concentrates. Actually, for instance, considering both the titanium white pigment and steel making industries together, it is estimated a total of 15 million tonnes of copperas-equivalent that are by-produced each year worldwide. Most of the copperas is currently stockpiled, landfilled or disposed-off posing serious environmental issues and significant lost of profit. After identifying the major markets and key industrial players, a detailed overview of the total amount of mining and metallurgical wastes produced annually along with a breakdown by companies and countries is also provided.  Secondly and after briefly reviewing the only few competitive processes and indicating their technical and economical limitations, a detailed economic feasibility study was conducted.  The study was based on several business case scenarios for either green field or brown field plants located in various geographical locations and with different recycling or treatment capacities. For each scenario preliminary capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) were estimated. Thirdly, based on the most promising business cases a preliminary financial analysis was performed yielding several key financial indicators [e.g., net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), return on investment (ROI), pay back time, etc.] demonstrating the good profitability and industrial potential of implementing such novel electrochemical technology. Finally, a preliminary sensitivity analysis, based on the possible variations of the prices for scrap iron metal and sulfuric acid along with the various production costs expected, is provided to support the financial incentives. In addition, an implementation strategy together with the important milestones to meet are also provided at the end of the report.

August 2010 - PRELIMINARY ELECTROCHEMICAL ENGINEERING CALCULATIONS AND DESIGN CRITERIA FOR A COMMERCIAL PLANT FOR ELECTROWINNING IRON AND REGENERATING SULFURIC ACID

MONTREAL, QC – August 19th, 2010A detailed report comprising the basic electrochemical engineering calculations and preliminary critical design criteria along with a suggested list of industrial equipment's for a commercial plant for electrowinning iron metal and regenerating sulfuric acid from copperas and other iron-rich sulfate wastes has been completed. The preliminary electrochemical and engineering calculations used through the report are based on the experimental results obtained during the first experimental trials performed at the bench scale from 2008 to 2009 and later on with the two prototype electrolyzers.  The design of the suitable electrochemical installations and the selection of the proper type of industrial equipment was based on existing technologies that are commercially available and currently encountered in most copper or zinc electrowinning plants worldwide. These preliminary calculations and design criteria will be used as technical ground to support the economic and financial feasibility studies.

July 2010 - NEW AND IMPROVED PROTOTYPE ELECTROLYZER HAS BEEN DESIGNED, BUILT AND TESTED FOR ELECTROWINNING IRON METAL FROM SULFATE WASTES

MONTREAL, QC July 28th, 2010 Following the dismantling last March 2010 of the first one-foot prototype electrolyzer that was used in early trials, a new and improved electrochemical reactor has been designed and built for demonstrating the proof of concept of the novel electrochemical recycling technology to interested customers and potential investors. This second generation prototype electrolyzer comprises anode and cathode compartments divided by two framed anion-exchange membranes as separators. The transparent and rectangular cell design exhibits a greater electrolyte capacity up to 2.857 gallons (US) (10.815 L) and it allows the utilization of two cathodes and a central anode or the reverse depending on the final electrodes arrangement desired. Each electrode (two sides) exhibit a greater geometric surface area that equals to two square feet (0.1858 m2). The electrolyzer is capable to operate continuously for few hours under a total current up to 90 amps and from room temperature up to 66°C (150°F). At the end of each electrolysis, the two iron electrodeposited plates are harvested by mechanically stripping the cathode(s) and in the anode compartment an anolyte made of sulfuric acid having a higher concentration is recovered. Like the first prototype no particular devices were installed in this prototype for the recovery of the oxygen gas that evolved during electrolysis and the gas is just simply released to the atmosphere.

ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC. - ELECTROWINNING IRON FROM COPPERAS

June 2010 - ELECTROCHEMISTRY REGENERATES SULFURIC ACID AND RECOVERS IRON METAL FROM INDUSTRIAL WASTES

NEW YORK CITY, NY June 1st, 2010 The American trade magazine CHEMICAL ENGINEERING (www.che.com) has just published its June 2010 issue including a press release describing the novel electrochemical technology entitled - Electrochemistry regenerates H2SO4 and recovers iron from industrial wastes. - written by Gerald Parkinson.  The article is published in the CHEMENTATOR section on page 11 [PDF file (296 KB)].

ELECTROCHEM TECHNOLOGIES & MATERIALS INC.

October 2009 - PCT OF THE INTERNATIONAL PATENT APPLICATION WO 2009/124393 (A1) PUBLISHED BY THE WIPO

MONTREAL, QC – October 15th, 2009 The World Intellectual Property Organization (www.WIPO.int) has just published the PCT of the International Patent Application WO 2009/124393 (A1) [PDF file (2 MB)] entitled - Electrochemical process for the recovery of metallic iron and sulfuric acid values from iron-rich sulfate wastes, mining residues, and pickling liquors. The patent describes a novel electrochemical technology for recovering metallic iron and concurrently regenerating sulfuric acid from iron-rich sulfate wastes, such as ferrous sulfate heptahydrate (FeSO4.7H2O), also called copperas in the trade, currently by-produced from the titanium white pigment industry, spent pickling liquors (SPLs) originating from iron and steel making plants, and finally pregnant leach solutions (PLS) generated during the acid leaching of ores and concentrates at various minerals and metals processing plants. Moreover, the international patent treaty examiner has acknowledged, in the preliminary report, that the claims of the invention are new, inventive and that they have a utility. These three criteria are essential to the patentability of this novel electrochemical process. This report represents a first and significant milestone in the process of obtaining patent rights in connection with this novel recycling technology.

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Keywords  industrial electrochemistry, electrochemical engineering, electrochemical processes, electrothermal processes, transfered and submerged electric arc furnaces, aluminothermic and carbothermic reduction, ferroalloys, electrofused ceramics, materials engineering, materials science, materials data, properties of materials properties, aqueous electrolytes, molten salts, fused salts, electrolysis, electrode kinetics, corrosion science, electrodeposition, electrowinning, electrorefining, electrocatalysis, electrooxidation, electrocoagulation, electrofloculation, electrodes, cathodes, inert anodes, dimensionally stable electrodes, chlorine evolution, oxygen evolution, mixed metal oxides (MMO), activated titanium anodes, oxide coated titanium anodes, lead anodes, refractory metals, molten slags, liquid metals,lithium, titanium, zirconium, hafnium, vanadium, niobium, tantalum, chromium, molybdenum, tungsten, rhenium, rare earth elements, rare earths recycling, thorium, uranium, applied mineralogy and petrography, extractive metallurgy, pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, electrometallurgy, natural radioactivity, recycling, mining residues, metallurgical wastes, industrial wastes, urban mining.