HPQ Silicon Resources Incis pleased to inform shareholders that PyroGenesis Canada Inc has submitted an updated progress report on the ongoing Gen2 PUREVAPTM Quartz Reduction Reactor test work. The Gen2 PUREVAP™ process improvements and design modifications continue to produce very encouraging results.
GEN2 AN INVALUABLE BENCH TEST PLATFORM TO COMMERCIAL SCALABILITY OF PUREVAP™ QRR
Increasing yield (Si quantity) and Production Yield of Gen2 PUREVAP™ are key objectives of the ongoing program. The results include the latest tests completed, which attained the following key milestones:
- Total mass of Si produced during Gen2 test #007 was 28.1 grams; 20 times greater than the baseline Gen1 test #63 result of 1.4 grams and 1.4 times greater than Gen2 test # 003 result of 19.9 grams1;
- Gen2 test #007 28.1 grams is the highest quantity of Si produced to date: 3.2 times greater than the best results of 8.8 grams from Gen1 test #322;
- Gen2 test #007 achieved a Production Yield3 of 13.4%, the highest to date: ten times greater than baseline Gen1 test #63 Production Yield of 1.3% and 1.8 times greater than Gen2 test # 003 Production Yield of 7.4%;
PRODUCTION YIELD A KEY CONTRIBUTING FACTOR THE FINAL PURITY
Gen1 testing confirmed the key relationship between production yield and purity (November 1 2017 release) and from these results and ongoing tests PyroGenesis extrapolated as follows:
- These results support the expectation that under a semi-continuous PUREVAPTM process, assuming standard production yield of 90%, it would be possible to transform Quartz (SiO2) into Silicon Metal (Si) with purity levels acceptable to the solar industry (4N+ or 99.998% Si)(4);
- The positive correlation between production yield, purity, and PUREVAPTM QRR reactor size is optimized with a 50 Tonne per year reactor;
- The Gen2 PUREVAP™ reactor capacity has limited achievable production yield at 15% (± 3%).
IMPLEMENTING ADDITIONAL METHODS TO INCREASE PURITY BECOMES KEY FOCUS
With the Gen2 reactor now operating within the 90th percentile of its achievable production yield, test work in the current phase will concentrate on establishing a repeatable process at maximum yield prior to moving on to implementing and testing additional pathways to increase the final purity of the Si produced.
Purity of Gen 2 test #007 material was analyzed at (CM)2 (École Polytechnique de Montréal) using the SEM-EDS method(5) and result confirmed, as expected, the production of 99.9+% pure Si, using low purity feedstock, 98.84% SiO2.
Subsequent Si produced will be sent to outside laboratories for bulk purity analysis using ICP-OES (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry). In this area, the expertise of Apollon Solar will be a great advantage given their long track record of conducting these types of tests for material very similar to the one currently being produced by the Company.
Bernard J. Tourillon, Chairman and CEO of HPQ Silicon stated, "Our methodical approach is yielding exciting results and the Gen2 is proving to be an invaluable bench test platform for testing new design and process improvements prior to the final design and assembly of the pilot plant equipment later this year. Our objective for 2018 continue to be building on our technical successes as we get ready to commence the Pilot Plant phase with our 'Solar Silicon Team' of Pyrogenesis and Apollon Solar, as well as, building market awareness of our progress and plans. With every successful milestone, we are de-risking our project, while our ongoing tests are providing valuable information to implement the adjustments needed to produce the Solar Grade Silicon Metal necessary for the manufacture of multi and monocrystalline solar cells for high performance photovoltaic conversion."
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/1107173_HPQ_L.jpg
KEY MILESTONES MOVING FORWARD
Milestones of the GEN2 PUREVAP™ program in 2018 are:
- Tapping Silicon Metal from the Gen 2 PUREVAP™;
- Increasing Production Yield of Gen 2 PUREVAP™ over multiple test cycles from high grade feedstock;
- Testing the Purity of the Si produced and implementing additional methods to increase the final purity of the Si produced;
- Testing electrical parameters of the High Purity Si;
- Provide additional data to calculate the economics of PUREVAP™ QRR.
- Adapt the methods and processes developed in GEN2 PUREVAPTM to the final design and assembly of the Pilot Plant equipment.
Pierre Carabin, Eng., M. Eng., has reviewed and approved the technical content of this press release.
This Press Release Is Available On The Company's CEO Verified Discussion Forum, A Moderated Social Media Platform That Enables Civilized Discussion and Q&A Between Management and Shareholders.
(1) Evaluating the progression of the Gen2 PUREVAP™ reactor requires a baseline Gen1 result and similar testing conditions for the Gen 2 tests.
(2) Since the tests were done under different reactor operating conditions, the results are nice to know, but not material for the program
(3) Production Yield is the conversion efficiency of Quartz into Silicon Metal of the process
(4) Pyrogenesis Canada Inc. Technical Memo: "TM-2017-830 REV 00, - Final Report-Silicon Metal Purity Enhancement"
(5) Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy Detection limit 1000 ppm, a 100% Si = Purity of 3N+ (99.9+%)