Uragold’s one-step silicon processing (and green) advantage for the $6B solar grade silicon and polysilicon market
April 12, 2016 – In a special InvestorIntel interview, Publisher Tracy Weslosky speaks with Bernard J. Tourillon, Chairman and CEO, Director of Uragold (TSXV: UBR) on the Purevap QVR process and how this one-step transformation of quartz into high purity silicon holds numerous benefits for end users in the solar grade silicon and polysilicon market; a $6 billion dollar market sector, which experts anticipate will double by 2020. They also discuss Uragold’s recent news on how the Purevap QVR solar grade silicon metal process has a 75% lower carbon footprint than the conventional Siemens process.
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Tracy Weslosky: Bernard let me start by congratulating you. Your most recent news release said that your solar grade silicon metal process has a 75% lower carbon footprint than the conventional Siemens process. Obviously we would like you to tell us a little bit more about this.
Bernard J. Tourillon: Well, it’s simple in a certain way. What we’re doing is we’re taking our quartz directly and we’re transforming it to the higher purity material, 6N and going up. We’re eliminating a complete step that is a little dirty secret that nobody says in the industry. It’s very bad. The transformation of metallurgy grade silicon metal to polysilicon requires lots of energy, chemicals and that’s really what it is. Nobody really talks too much about it because the carbon effect of the solar panel is such that it offsets it. I read somewhere that in reality if you’re a true ‘greeny’ and you’re buying a solar system, it takes up to 6 years for you to generate the credit offset the production one. This with the Paris meetings that were there and all the discussion we decided to say, you know what, let’s try to figure out what’s going to be our carbon footprint. That’s when we came up with the realization that versus the Siemens process we’re 75% more energy efficient basically because we’re removing a complete step in both of them. What’s not written in the press release, but is also within the documents that I have is that 75% of our remaining carbon footprint is mostly due to the transport, exploration, mining and everything else. There are ways for us to go in additional offsetting with regard to the way the process works because we’re not looking at building a massive smelter, but we’re building a reactor. Our goal is to have those installations closer to the deposit so by having them closer to the deposit we can cut also the carbon footprint everywhere else. Basically those are small steps that we can do that can add to the positive visibility of our project in addition to what we’re doing in the solar field, which is going to be a very competitive project.
Tracy Weslosky: I think this is another example of how competitive the PUREVAP QVR process is, so if I could just have you give our audience a bit of an overview of this technology that you currently have?
Bernard J. Tourillon: This technology is, sort of, an improvement on a lot of technologies that already exist. What it basically is, is we’re using in a vacuum furnace we will be putting our quartz and using plasma, which is a third state of energy or different state of energy, to basically transform the quartz into high-purity silicon metal…to access the complete interview, click here
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