PyroGenesis Canada Inc. , a Montreal-based clean-tech company that designs, develops, manufactures and commercializes plasma waste-to-energy systems and plasma torch products, has filed a provisional patent for a one step process using plasma for producing high purity silicon from silica.
The 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.
“We expect this process to not only have strategic significance with respect to silicon, but will allow PyroGenesis to further develop distinct plasma processes geared to refining other high grade and valuable metals as well,” says Pierre Carabin, director of engineering of PyroGenesis. “Applying plasma to silica in this manner is another example of how PyroGenesis is finding high value niche markets for its plasma based processes.”
“Advances in solar energy and electronic applications have made silicon a strategic material in the 21st century. The world consumption of silicon metal in 2014 alone exceeded US$6 billion,” adds, PyroGenesis president and CEO Peter Pascali. “Therefore, there is a significant need to finding ways to reduce the cost of producing strategic materials and PyroGenesis’ processes are poised to do just that.”