Apella Resources Inc.

Apella Resources Inc.

January 24, 2011 09:01 ET

Redox Battery Inventor, Professor Maria Skyllas-Kazacos, Joins Apella's Advisory Board

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 22, 2011) - Apella Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:APA), (OTCQX:APAFF), and (FRANKFURT:NWN) is very pleased to announce that Professor Maria Skyllas-Kazacos has joined Apella's Advisory Board effective immediately. Professor Skyllas-Kazocas is currently Emeritus Professor, School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Australia ("UNSW"); prior to which she held the posts of Professor, School of Chemical Engineering and Industry Chemistry, UNSW, and Director, Centre for Electrochemical and Minerals Processing, UNSW. Professor Skyllas-Kazacos' career accomplishments, achievements and awards are outlined below.

Professor Skyllas-Kazacos is well known worldwide as the scientific researcher and pioneer who is credited with the invention of the Vanadium Redox Battery (now, commonly referred to as "the VRB"). Professor Skyllas-Kazacos' pioneering work included the basis research, through the development of all aspects (including electrolyte production, novel plastic electrodes, new modified membranes, mathematical modeling and design) of battery technology and components, to prototype testing and manufacturing trials in conjunction with industrial licenses.

Patrick D. O'Brien, ICD.D, Apella's Chairman and CEO comments "Apella's Board, Management and Technical Team are very delighted to have Professor Maria Skyllas-Kazacos join Apella's Advisory Board. Maria's extensive knowledge and expertise in the area of vanadium applications is well known and respected globally. It is without a doubt that Maria's contribution to Apella's endeavours will have an immense impact on the company's future. We all welcome Professor Skyllas-Kazacos to Apella and look forward to working with this highly acclaimed scientist in developing our Vanadium-Iron-Titanium assets and meeting the markets future vanadium requirements."

The Vanadium Redox battery which Professor Skyllas-Kazacos pioneered is now regarded internationally as one of the most feasible technologies currently available to meet the growing need for efficient renewable energy storage to help in the global reduction of fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. To date more than 20 medium to large-scale VRB systems have been installed by Sumitomo Electric Industries in Japan, USA, Europe and Australia for the storage of wind and solar energy and for load leveling at power stations and back-up power. The largest of these is a 4 MW/6 MWh VRB integrated to a wind-farm on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Several companies are now manufacturing or are in the process of setting up production of the VRB in China and Europe, while a grant from the US Department of Energy was awarded for the installation of a 6 MWh VRB installation at the Painesville Municipal Power Plant in Ohio using the UNSW technology.

In 2001, the new "Generation 2" Vanadium Bromide Redox Cell was patented by the University of NSW and funding was received from the Victorian government funded Centre for Energy and Greenhouse Technologies and from the Australian government's Renewable Energy Development Initiative fund to further develop the technology as a high energy density flow battery for both stationary and mobile applications. Collaborative research in this area is currently being undertaken with Nanyang Technical University in Singapore.

The key and most significant component of the Vanadium Redox Battery production is vanadium itself. Both electrolytes in Vanadium Redox Batteries are vanadium based. The only primary, constant, and reliable source of Vanadium for VRB producers, going forward, will without a doubt be magnetite ore deposits like the Iron-T and Lac Dore deposits that Apella is associated with. For Vanadium Redox Batteries to continue to expand market share it will be imperative for VRB manufactures worldwide to have access to large, reliable supplies of high grade vanadium that meet their particular specifications; which is exactly what Apella plans to see produced and delivered. Apella currently awaits receipt of its updated NI 43-101 Technical Report and Resource Calculation for its Iron-T Vanadium-Iron-Titanium Project located in Quebec, Canada. This latest report being prepared by SGS-Geostat and will include a report on the metallurgy of the deposit. The earlier NI-43-101-compliant report and resource calculation of 11.6 million tonnes presented to Apella by SGS-Geostat in August 2010 of 11.6 million did not include:

  • assay results from 15 additional drill holes
  • assay results from 2 extended drill holes
  • assay results from 85 channel samples taken from newly discovered zones

Professor Skyllas-Kazacos, in addition to her work in the area of the Vanadium Redox Battery, has a vast amount of experience in other sectors of research as well. Her work to date has led to the authoring and filing of 250 publications and patents in the areas of:

  • Vanadium Battery Research: which has resulted in today's leading edge Vanadium Redox Battery technology currently being utilized worldwide.

  • Lithium battery and Fuel Cell technology: including new research activities in lithium ion batteries and biofuel which began on 2001 at UNSW. In collaboration with ANSTO, a range of novel lithium battery electrode materials have been evaluated for improved intercalation ratios and reversibility. Work is also being undertaken on the development of improved catalysts for methanol oxidation and membrane modification for direct methanol fuel cell applications.

  • Aluminium Electrowinning, Mineral Extraction and Molten Salts: This work has been funded by grants from Comalco (Rio Tinto), the Australian Research Council and more recently the CSIRO Light Metals Flagship. Studies include aluminium electrowinning in cryolite and alternative electrolytes, inert anodes and inert cathodes for aluminium electrolysis. Other projects have included:
    • Electrochemical studies of aluminium deposition and dissolution at graphite, tungsten, titanium diboride and TiB2/C composite and granulometry on anode overvoltage in aluminium smelting process. 
    • Determination of bath resistivities, bubble layer resistivities and gaseous volume fraction in aluminium electrolysis cells with sloping anodes and cathode. 
    • Electrochemical studies of dissolved aluminium in molten Al2O3 / cryolite. 
    • Electrochemical studies of wettability of sintered TiB2 and TiB2/C composite electrodes in molten Al2O3/cryolite. Effect of TiO2 and B2O3 additions on the aluminium deposition reaction at graphite electrodes in molten Al2O3/cryolite.
    • Preparation and evaluation of inert anodes based on cermet composite materials to eliminate the generation of carbon dioxide
    • Anode effect studies for greenhouse gas reduction in aluminium smelting
    • Wear resistant cathodes for aluminium electrowinning
    • Advanced Control and process modelling for the aluminium reduction cell.
  • Electrochemical Engineering and Electrochemical Cell Design, including:
    • Modelling and simulation of electrochemical reactors
    • Bipolar cell design and evaluation
    • Industrial prototype design, testing and optimisation
    • Precipitation mechanisms and kinetics; effects of additives and impurities on precipitation processes and crystal morphology.

A list of Professor Skyllas-Kazacos' vast credits would include a total of over 130 papers in international refereed journal, 2 Book Chapters, more than 35 patents or patent applications, 75 full conference papers, and 17 major reports. She has also edited and published 9 Conference Proceedings and jointly produced 2 CDRoms of Conference papers.

Professor Skyllas-Kazacos' career has provided her the opportunity and pleasure to supervise 25 PhD and Master's thesis students to completion. Maria is currently supervising 7 PhD students, 3 Honours thesis students, 2 research fellows, and 2 research students; all in addition to her own ongoing research and endeavours.

Academic Qualifications:

  • 1974 BSc (Hons 1) Industrial Chemistry, The University of New South Wales
  • 1974 University Medal
  • 1978 PhD, School of Chemical Technology, The University of New South Wales

Professional Affiliations:

  • Fellow, Institution of Engineers, Australia
  • Fellow, Royal Australian Chemical Institute
  • Member, Electrochemical Society of USA
  • Chartered Professional Engineer

Awards and Medals

  • University Medal, 1974
  • Whiffen Medal, Institution of Chemical Engineers Australia, 1997
  • CHEMECA Medal, Institution of Chemical Engineers Australia, 1998
  • Member of the Order of Australia, Australia Day Honours List 1999
  • R.K. Murphy Medal, Royal Australian Chemical Institute, 2000
  • Invested as Grand Lady of the Byzantine Order of St Eugene of Trebizond (Australia Day, 2009)
  • Recipient Distinguished Lecturer Award, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Richland, UNSW, 2009.
  • Co-Recipient, 2009 Light Metals Division Journal of Metals Best Paper Award


  • 2007- present: Emeritus Professor, School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, UNSW
  • 2005-2010: Honorary Technical advisor, V-Fuel Pty Ltd
  • 2004-present: Honorary Technical advisor, Magnam Technologies Pty Ltd
  • 1993- 2007 Professor, School of Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry, UNSW
  • 2000-2006 Director, Centre for Electrochemical and Minerals Processing, UNSW.
  • 1987-1993 Associate Professor, School of Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry, UNSW
  • 1982-1987 Lecturer to Senior Lecturer, School of Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry, UNSW
  • 1980-1981 Queen Elizabeth II Postdoctoral Research Fellow in School of Physics, UNSW
  • 1978-1979 CSIRO Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ, USA


"Patrick D. O'Brien"
Patrick D. O'Brien, ICD.D – Director

SEC Exemption 12(g)3-2(b) File no. 82-3822, Standard & Poors Listed, Dun & Bradstreet Listed


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