PyroGenesis's Purevap Produces 99.99% Silicon

Press Release ( - MONTREAL, Quebec - Nov 29, 2016 - PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (PYR.V) has just submitted a new stage report (1) pertaining to high-purity silicon metal test results recently produced using the first-generation set-up of the lab-scale Purevap quartz reduction reactor (QRR), combined with the addition of a purifying agent.

Analysis confirms production of 4N-plus silicon metal (99.99 per cent plus silicon)

Multiple analyses of the material produced during test 19 were completed at the Centre de Caracterisation Microscopique des Materiaux (CM2), located at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) associated with a wavelength-dispersive spectroscopy (WDS).

The results from test 19 confirm production of 4N+ purity Silicon Metal (99.99+% Si). At this stage, the final purity level of the material in less than 100-ppm range (parts per million) has not been determined. Since this test was the last prior to the upgrades of the lab-scale PUREVAP(TM) QRR, these positive results will be incorporated into the plans for all-future testing in which samples will be routinely analyzed to much lower detection limits. R&D lab testing is still ongoing and the project is on schedule for completion in January 2017.

“We have officially reached the 4N Milestone, and the technical team now can focus on the improvements to follow up the achievement of the 4N+ high grade silicon core. The PUREVAP(TM) QRR results once again exceeded our expectations at this early stage of development testing. The presence of a high grade core of material and the evidence of zonation in which impurities are forced to the outside is exactly what we were working toward, and this result has come earlier than expected. In addition, production of 99.99+% Si using 98.14% SiO2 feed speaks volumes about the economic opportunities that the PUREVAP(TM) QRR represents for HPQ-Silicon and its numerous high grade quartz deposits, in our objective of becoming vertically integrated” said Bernard Tourillon, Chairman and CEO of HPQ-Silicon. “Furthermore, testing and process improvements are being made on a continual basis, as our goal of making Solar Grade Silicon gets closer to becoming a reality.”


More importantly, the analytical data points to directional crystallization of a core of higher purity silicon metal, as well as, zonation of the impurities as observed in other purification processes. This apparent zonation indicates that the PUREVAP(TM) process has now achieved a physical segregation of residual impurities at lab-scale stage. The groundbreaking importance of this is the initial production of a higher purity core section of the silicon material, which is where the targeted 6N silicon would be expected to accumulate in the future. This core of high purity silicon material would then be extracted and sold as solar grade silicon. The less pure portions, where the impurities have migrated, would then be separated and sold as high value Silicon Metal by-products.


The WDS analytical method provides quantitative analyses of precise spots with a detection threshold of approximately 0.01%, or 100 ppm (weight basis). The results confirm impurity levels to as low the detection limit of 0.01% (less than 100 ppm) for almost all the major impurities. This positive result means that going forward material produced from ongoing test work, which will focus on improvements to the purification process and adaptation to the Pilot Plant development, will now be sent for detailed analysis and characterization of the impurities, in less than 100 parts per million (ppm) range, to fully evaluate the effectiveness of the PUREVAP(TM) QRR.

“We are extremely pleased with the progress to date,” said Pierre Carabin, CTO of PyroGenesis. “We have now reached the detection limits of two analysis methods and confirmed the ability of the process produce silicon metal of at least 99.99+% purity. This confirms that we are truly on to something unique.”


The feedstock for experiment #19 was 300 g of a mixture 2.5:1 weight basis of 2-4 mm Quartz lot #A16- 09153 from Ronceveaux and activated carbon #5566 provided by Asbury Carbon. The overall purity of the Quartz is evaluated at 98.14 %.

“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%(2)” said P. Peter Pascali, President and CEO of PyroGenesis. “The PUREVAP(TM) has proven that to no longer be the case. We have demonstrated that the process can produce high purity silicon metal from significantly lower purity quartz as feedstock. 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.”

Figure 1 –…

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 Solar Grade Silicon producer that can generate high yield returns and significant free cash flow within a relatively short time line.

(1) PyroGenesis Technical Memo: TM-2016-765, Rev. 00, “Mass balance on impurities for test 19” (2) Please refer to HPQ -Silicon Resources Inc and Pyrogenesis Canada Inc November 2, 2016 press releases

Source : PyroGenesis Canada Inc

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