PyroGenesis Canada Inc says that its Purevap process can not only transform high purity quartz to high purity silicon metal, but the process can also transform low purity quartz (97.5%) to high purity silicon metal.

‘These results are significant as the prevailing proposition suggests that the quartz purity level required to make high purity silicon metal is over 99.5%,’ said P. Peter Pascali, President and CEO of PyroGenesis. ‘Purevap has proven that to no longer be the case. We have demonstrated that the process can produce quartz of a significantly lower purity level (97.5%) as feedstock, and still produce high purity silicon metal. The implications of this are enormous when considering the potential commercial applications of the process. Conceivably, we can now take a cheap and abundant low purity quartz feedstock and transform it into a high value end product.’

The Purevap process is a process being developed by PyroGenesis which targets the transformation of quartz, in one-step, into a solar grade metal suitable for solar panel applications. This can effectively eliminate significant overheads thereby creating a simple, pure and cheap alternate to that currently available. If successful, this process could have a significant impact on the solar panel industry. 

This story is reprinted from material from Pyrogenesiswith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.