Last month, we had a chance to sit down with V-Bond Lee, Chief Technology Officer of Volt Carbon Technologies (TSXV: VCT). Volt Carbon Technologies focuses on carbon sciences and battery technology, and is in the process of developing a new proprietary system which could revolutionize the refinement of materials critical for manufacturing EV batteries – using air.
Lee says there has never been such a high demand for battery materials as now. We’re pleased to welcome him back to The Dales Report. Listen to the podcast to learn about why Volt Carbon Technologies might be an option for investors to consider.
Companies Like Volt Carbon Technologies Are Living In ‘Interesting Times’
Governments are declaring lists of critical minerals for battery production, says Lee, and offering some lucrative incentives to develop them.
“…You’re right, this is a very interesting time. There’s a lot of electric vehicles being built. And that’s going to drive the demand for a lot of these critical minerals, which traditionally came out from China,” he adds.
When asked about government incentives for buyers of electric vehicles and whether consumers are picking up on the idea of purchasing one for themselves as a result, Lee believes that people will – if not now, then perhaps in the relatively near future.
“It’s driven by several factors. And … the bottom line for the consumer is their costs. What goes in their pocket? Over the years, it’s been harder to adapt. Look at the price of gasoline these days. And look at the benefits you get with an electric vehicle. You know, your gas bill goes away.”
A Quick Recap For Readers On The Way Volt Carbon Technologies Refines Graphite
The way battery graphite is currently sourced begins in China. It utilizes highly toxic processes that are extremely harmful to the environment. Shipping materials back and forth overseas for production only compounds that.
The old processes also require vast, carefully-managed tailings and huge amounts of water, which would require any new processing plant to invest about 70 million in its development.
Lee and the rest of the team at Volt Carbon Technologies has found a way to extract flake graphite from aggregate using aerodynamics. They were successful in obtaining a purity over 80% in their first tries. With improvement to the process, they could substantially reduce the CAPEX of a new graphite refinement plant – and its more toxic waste products.
Volt Carbon Technologies Trading On The TSX Venture
Since we spoke with V-Bond Lee two months ago, the company has raised 2.5m. So far they’ve used some of that money to build out the prototyping facilities, and they’re looking at prototyping batteries themselves.
Lee says that while Volt Carbon Technologies has the production of graphite as an IP, they also want to become a battery supplier eventually – and there’s benefits to that. They want to build the anodes out of graphite. It could take upwards of a year to get feedback from an OEM battery builder on the anodes.
Previously, it wasn’t cost effective to consider this level of vertical integration in a mining company. This was mostly when China was undercutting prices, says Lee, but because purification can be so low-cost with the new system, “it’s an exciting time.”
For those interested in the science of the graphite and battery production, be sure to listen to the full podcast above, as Lee explains some of the chemistry and processes. More in the episode about the future for Volt that could exist beyond the EV battery pack, and why investors just might want to get on board now.