HPQ Silicon confirms greater than 99.9% purity silicon metal, waits for next results
HPQ Silicon Resources Inc. (TSXV: HPQ) announced the results of multiple lab analyses showing PyroGenesis’ PurevapTm Quartz Vaporization Reactor (QVR) output at greater than 99.9% purity.
This marks a significant threshold in the technology’s path to commercialization and shareholders should pay close attention as the final purity level in ppb (parts per billion) has yet to be determined because the impurities in the samples were below the detection level (1000 ppm or 0.1%) of the first laboratory used of analyses.
HPQ Silicon and partner PyroGenesis have confirmed that the results are in line with the expectations of the technology and the samples have been sent to a second laboratory, in the USA, with more sensitive detection technologies to further determine the grade of the silicon metal produced by QVR.
HPQ Silicon is aiming to produce solar grade silicon.
The upcoming sets of results will tell shareholders where the purity of QVR silicon stands. Silicon metal is graded at 98.5% Si; high purity silicon metal is graded of 99.99% Si; solar grade silicon metal is graded 6N purity or 99.9999% or higher (9N purity or 99.9999999% Si).
I would expect the CEO of HPQ Silicon to check emails for results a million times a day.
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The samples were analyzed at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Eau Terre Environnement (INRS-ETE) Laboratory in Quebec City. Multiple surface readings were completed using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) associated with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX) on samples T6, T7 and T9. The analyses confirm production of high purity silicon metal (Si) by the PUREVAP™ QVR during all of the tests.
In September 2015, PyroGenesis announced that it had filed for a provisional patent for the PUREVAP™ QVR process, which it noted was able to produce silicon, at a lower cost, while generating less CO2 emissions than current processes.
On April 19, 2016, PyroGenesis announced that early test results of the PUREVAP™ QVR process have demonstrated that it can transform high purity quartz into silicon metal. The PUREVAP™ QVR validation program is now in its second stage whereby the operational parameters of the reactor are adjusted in order to achieve the transformation of HPQ Silicon Quartz into Solar Grade Purity Si.
HPQ Silicon, with its worldwide exclusive usage of PyroGenesis’ PUREVAP™ QVR will also be implementing a process to make Sg Si, which is estimated to generate 14.1 kg CO2 eq/Kg SG Si, versus the 54.0 kg CO2 eq/Kg SG Si of emissions generated by the Siemens process (90% of the present production process). This represents 75% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, which is justified by elimination of the emissions emanating from the use of chemicals, as well as, energy consumption from the additional purification step.
With an annual market of $US 6 B, the solar grade Silicon and Polysilicon market is growing at an annual rate of 6% and should double by 2020 to meet growing demand for solar energy.
If commercially proven this kind of technology may bring down the cost of solar photovoltaic energy to grid parity in North America, a problem that has plagued the solar industry since its inception. Solar parity is the point in time where the cost of solar power is equivalent to the blended cost of power on the electrical distribution grid. If this is true, then this technology might have a significant effect on the global carbon footprint. It would permit to deploy cost effective photovoltaic systems that would produce power at a cost equivalent to coal power generation as an example.
Dr. Luc C. Duchesne is a Speaker and Author with a PhD in Biochemistry. With three decades of scientific and business experience, he has published ... <Read more about Dr. Luc Duchesne>