HPQ Silicon Resources Inc.: New Scaling Up Milestones; 62% Increase in Impurity Removal Using Low Purity Feedstock; 531% Conversion Yield Increase
May 16, 2017 (Source) — HPQ Silicon Resources Inc (“HPQ”) (TSX VENTURE:HPQ)(FRANKFURT:UGE)(OTC PINK:URAGF) is pleased to inform its shareholders that PyroGenesis Canada Inc (“PyroGenesis”) has submitted a new stage report entitled “Update on The PUREVAPtm Process Characterization Testing #2” pertaining to tests completed since our last technical PR (26/01/17). The objectives of test #37 to #74 was increasing Si yield at lab scale by continuously improving process parameter and implementing alternative purification routes while still using low purity feed stock. The salient points of the report are significant in that they validate our systematic and methodical approach to our bench scale test purification work and scaling up our process of converting quartz into high purity silicon metal.
PROCESS IMPROVEMENT SHOWING SIGNIFICANT POTENTIAL TOWARD REACHING HIGHER PURITY
The report confirms that ongoing modifications to the PUREVAP™ QRR process have resulted in a 62% improvement in the impurity removal capacity of the system. This outcome is based on third party laboratory results1, comparing the total average impurities count of 856.6 ppm (99.91%) for the Si produced by test #24 completed prior the modification with the total impurity count result of 328.98 ppm (99.97%) for the Si produced by test #51 completed after, using the same low purity quartz feedstock with total impurity count of 18,900 ppm (98.14 SiO2).
Bernard Tourillon, Chairman and CEO of HPQ-Silicon stated, “These results demonstrate that the PUREVAPtm QRR quartz purification process can continue to be successfully improved while using low purity feedstock at the bench scale. This represents yet more important technical milestones being reached in our path toward production of Solar Grade Silicon Metal. At this stage of our development, we continue to pass critical milestones consistently and must continue our ‘iterative’ approach of incrementally increasing size, and purity step by step”.
Table 1: Removal efficiency of main impurities from Si Sample
|1||Analyses completed by Evans Analytical Group, (“EAG” of Liverpool, NY, USA) – using Glow Discharge Mass Spectrometry (“GDMS”)|
Results for key impurities from test 51 indicate that the process modification implement are now allowing removal efficiencies of 100% for Na, K, S and W, > 99% for Fe, Mg and Mn, 98.8% for Ca, 93.9% for Al, 79.8 % for Ti (one of the most difficult impurity to remove), 53.1% for P and 44.3% for B.
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Final results regarding process improvement using lower quality feedstock in test #54 to #74 will be reported once analysed by third party laboratory. PyroGenesis will submit a technical proposal to HPQ shortly, highlighting the best way to proceed with the final batch, based upon process and test results to date.
TESTING USING FEEDSTOCK WITH 99.5% SiO2 (500 PPM OF IMPURITIES) BECOMES KEY FOCUS
Once the results from samples #54 to #74 are completed, the effort will focus on applying purification techniques to higher purity quartz feedstock. Presently the industry produces standard grade Si (MG-Si 98-99% Si) using as feedstock a quartz with no more then 500 ppm of impurities (99.5% SiO2) and a maximum iron oxide (Fe) content of 0.1-0.15 wt%.
With the exception of the proof of concept phase, all of the tests to date that produced 99.9+% Si were completed using quartz feed stock with a total impurity count of 18,900 ppm (98.14 SiO2) and iron oxide (Fe) content of 0.9 wt%, or 9 times greater than the industry standard for Fe.
Having successfully secured access to high purity Quartz (99.5% SiO2) from both HPQ – owned quartz deposits and from outside suppliers, the next phase will apply the high efficiency impurities removal techniques to the higher purity feedstock. The objective of using the higher purity feedstock is to test the ability to reach the 5N threshold at the bench scale, and provide more data necessary for the final design of the pilot plant. These tests will commence as soon as the latest process improvements announced in our May 4, 2017 PR, are completed on the lab scale PUREVAP™ QRR.
“We are pleased with the progress to date,” said Pierre Carabin, Chief Technology Officer of PyroGenesis. “We have now reached a stage where we can start testing using high purity feedstock which will allow us to validate the impurity removal capacity of the lab scale reactor and ultimately, to further improve the product purity.”
TESTING CONTINUES TO CONFIRMS BENCH TEST SCALABILITY OF PUREVAP™ QRR PROCESS
The report confirms that process modifications done to the PUREVAP™ QRR are responsible for a 531% increase in yield of the Si produced. This is based on the fact that the process modifications has made it possible to produce the same quantity of material as produced by test #32 (PR January 26, 2017) using smaller batch size (55 wt% less) without sacrificing the purity of the final product.
Bernard J. Tourillon, Chairman and CEO of HPQ Silicon stated, “Building on our scaling up success to date, the coming months should allow us to continue to make improvements to our scaling up program, while simultaneously testing for the best and greenest pathway to produce 5N (99.999% Si) Solar Grade Silicon Metal at lab scale, prior to start-up of the Pilot plant scheduled for 2018.”
Pierre Carabin, Eng., M. Eng., has reviewed and approved the technical content of this press release.
About HPQ Silicon
HPQ Silicon Resources Inc is a TSX-V listed junior exploration company planning to become a vertically integrated and diversified High Value Silicon Metal (99.9+% Si), and Solar Grade Silicon Metal (99.999+% Si) producer.
Our business model is focused on developing a disruptive High Purity and Solar Grade Silicon Metal manufacturing process (patent pending) and becoming a vertically – integrated High Value Silicon Metal and Solar Grade Silicon producer that can generate high yield returns and significant free cash flow within a relatively short time line.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements containing the words “may”, “plan”, “will”, “estimate”, “continue”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “expect”, “in the process” and other similar expressions which constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s current expectation and assumptions, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, our expectations regarding the acceptance of our products by the market, our strategy to develop new products and enhance the capabilities of existing products, our strategy with respect to research and development, the impact of competitive products and pricing, new product development, and uncertainties related to the regulatory approval process. Such statements reflect the current views of the Company with respect to future events and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and other risks detailed from time-to-time in the Company’s on-going filings with the securities regulatory authorities, which filings can be found at www.sedar.com. Actual results, events, and performance may differ materially. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements either as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.
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