alpha-En Corp (OTC:ALPE) is a technology development company, primarily focusing on the development of a commercially viable process for the production of high-purity lithium metal and of a thin film lithium anode for use in the next generation of lithium high-energy batteries. The company’s core intellectual property is a patent portfolio that has been broadened and strengthened since 2013. A U.S. patent on the process was granted in January 2019, and patents have been filed in several international markets (Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Japan, India, Korea and Hong Kong). The company has embarked upon the preliminary steps to scaling-up the development and manufacturing design of both processes. alpha-En has entered into research agreements with Princeton University, Argonne National Laboratory and Cornell University so that battery manufacturers can properly consider alpha-En’s technology for inclusion into the next generation of batteries with lithium metal anodes.
During 2018, alpha-En achieved several milestones:
• The company’s laboratory in Yonkers became fully operational
• The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted company’s omnibus patent “High Purity Lithium and Associated Products and Processes”
• In June, alpha-En purchased the outstanding minority equity interest of its Clean Lithium Corporation subsidiary, the holder of alpha-En’s patent portfolio
• alpha-En entered into a Cooperative Agreement with Cornell University for conducting sponsored research on alpha-En’s lithium thin film production process
During 2018, the company’s laboratory in Yonkers became fully operational after having successfully completed the permitting process. The lab includes a Phenom scanning electron microscope (SEM), which can produce images with up to 130,000 times magnification of alpha-En’s lithium metal anodes, permitting the analysis of micro-structures and material characterization. In addition to the high-quality imaging capability, the elemental composition can be determined. The results allow alpha-En to submit pertinent data to third-party companies for consideration and further evaluation.
On November 13, 2018, alpha-En announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a Notice of Allowance for U.S. Patent Application 15/160,013 (aka “High Purity Lithium and Associated Products and Processes” that was filed on May 20, 2016). A Notice of Allowance indicates that the USPTO intends to issue a patent which will provide intellectual property protection for alpha-En’s lithium metal process of producing high purity lithium (greater than 99.96% purity by weight) with nanorod morphology. The patent protection also extends to the continuous processes and cells for obtaining lithium metal. The company’s patent application was subsequently granted on January 8, 2019.
On July 9, 2018, alpha-En announced that the company and Cornell University have entered into a Cooperative Agreement to conduct sponsored research on alpha-En’s lithium thin film production process. The research is to be conducted at the Baker Laboratory by the Abruña Group under the direction of Professor Héctor D. Abruña. The group is anticipated to provide insights into the characteristics of alpha-En’s thin film lithium metal deposition process, especially in terms of quantifying capacity. The Abruña Group also has the unique capabilities and tools to study the ion transport process on a microscopic scale in real time (in operando) during the time period of thin film growth. A successful demonstration of alpha-En’s unique thin film lithium metal deposition process would be most useful for battery manufacturers to consider in their development of the next generation of rechargeable battery with a lithium metal anode.
Effective June 14, 2018, alpha-En purchased the minority 9.05% equity interest outstanding of Clean Lithium Corporation for 3,018,190 shares of ALPE. Clean Lithium Corporation, the holder of alpha-En’s IP portfolio, is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of alpha-En Corp.
In the last two years between the months of February and May, the company has issued preferred stock to help fund operations for that year. Gross proceeds of these two preferred private placements have averaged $1.9 million. This year, on April 9th, alpha-En entered into a preferred stock purchase agreement to issue up to 1,500 shares of 10% Series B Preferred Stock in a private placement. Each $1,000 Series B Preferred share is convertible into 2,000 common shares. Also, each share Series B Preferred share is to be accompanied with a warrant exercisable into 1,000 shares of common stock at $0.75 per share. Gross proceeds could be up to $1.5 million.
After having secured funds from its Series B Preferred Stock private placement, alpha-En will be poised to advance its pure lithium metal process during 2019. We expect further progress to be made toward commercializing the company’s high-purity lithium anode, driven by its recently granted patent, by its fully operational lab and particularly by management’s goal of executing a Go-To-Market Strategy in the near future.
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