As previously noted, PUREVAP™ is a proprietary process that uses a plasma arc within a vacuum furnace to produce high purity, metallurgical grade silicon (MG-Si), solar grade silicon (UMG Si) and polysilicon from quartz in just one step.
In September 2015, PyroGenesis announced that it had filed for a provisional patent for the PUREVAP™ process, which it noted was able to produce silicon, at a lower cost, while generating less CO2 emissions than current processes.
“We are very pleased by these early results,” said Pierre Carabin, Director of Engineering of PyroGenesis. “Our ability to demonstrate that our process can produce metal at such an early stage is encouraging and is the first step towards the Company’s objective to produce a silicon product of solar grade purity.”
The silicon metal, solar grade silicon metal and electronic grade silicon metal markets combined formed a US$12B per year industry in 2014. Metallurgical grade silicon metal world consumption topped 2.25 million tonnes in 2014, exceeding US$6B in sales. Propelled by increased demand for photovoltaic (PV) solar panels systems, metallurgical grade silicon metal consumption is expected to grow by over six percent (6%) per annum1.
In 2014, nearly ten percent (10%) of the global metallurgical grade silicon metal produced was further refined into solar grade silicon metal and polysilicon, worth an additional US$6B. GTM Research estimates that installed PV demand will grow 15 % – 23 % annually and access to solar grade Si will be a limiting factor in PV growth2.
“PyroGenesis’ PUREVAP™ is a disruptive process that has the ability to revolutionize the way the mining & metallurgy industry produces metals,” said P. Peter Pascali, President and CEO of PyroGenesis. “PyroGenesis has once again demonstrated its ability to use plasma as a solution in industries that have not yet had the luxury to consider its many benefits. We look forward to the final results of our testing program and advancing to the pilot stage with Uragold.”
About PyroGenesis Canada Inc.
PyroGenesis Canada Inc., a TSX Venture 50® clean-tech company, is the world leader in the design, development, manufacture and commercialization of advanced plasma processes. We provide engineering and manufacturing expertise, cutting-edge contract research, as well as turnkey process equipment packages to the defense, metallurgical, mining, advanced materials (including 3D printing), oil & gas, and environmental industries. With a team of experienced engineers, scientists and technicians working out of our Montreal office and our 3,800 m2 manufacturing facility, PyroGenesis maintains its competitive advantage by remaining at the forefront of technology development and commercialization. Our core competencies allow PyroGenesis to lead the way in providing innovative plasma torches, plasma waste processes, high-temperature metallurgical processes, and engineering services to the global marketplace. Our operations are ISO 9001:2008 certified, and have been since 1997. PyroGenesis is a publicly-traded Canadian company on the TSX Venture Exchange (Ticker Symbol: PYR) and on the OTCQB Marketplace (Ticker Symbol: PYRNF). For more information, please visit www.pyrogenesis.com
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1 Roskill: Silicon and Ferrosilicon: Global Industry Markets & Outlook report (2014)
2 PV demand and GTM Research October 2015; RECSilicon 2015 presentation