Montreal — HPQ Silicon, an innovative silicon solution and technology development company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary HPQ Nano Silicon Powders inc (“HPQ NANO”), would like to update shareholders on advancements of the PUREVAP™ Nano Silicon Reactor (“NSiR”) development project led by technology provider, PyroGenesis Canada.
ADVANCING METHODICALLY, FOCUS ON BATTERY GRADE NANO SILICON MATERIALS
As expected with ground-breaking R&D projects, the PyroGenesis engineering team continued to resolve design and process issues encountered during Phase 1 of the PUREVAP™ NSiR development program. As testing progressed during the second half of 2021, the challenge for the team became eliminating oxygen from the final product of nano-silicon material. The oxygen was affecting our ability to produce qualified samples.
Systematic analysis of the process performed by the PyroGenesis technical team indicated that:
- The internal sources of oxygen contamination were directly linked to the heat–resistant liner material used in the Gen1 PUREVAP™ NSiR, a modified Gen2 PUREVAP™ Quartz Reduction Reactor (“QRR”), originally designed for the carboreduction of quartz into Silicon (Si),
- The GEN 1 PUREVAP™ NSIR needed to be re-designed and rebuilt to eliminate the internal sources of the contamination.
The modified Gen1.5 PUREVAP™ NSiR system was re-designed and built-in Q3 2021 and commissioned in Q4 2021. Preliminary results obtained with material produced during commissioning tests completed in December are very promising. Once final adjustments are completed, expected in January, the system will be ready to produce new samples for third-party evaluation.
“For HPQ NANO, 2021 was the year of “Slow is Smooth & Smooth is Fast”. While it may have taken us longer than we had expected to get here, we are here now, ready to revolutionize nano-silicon materials manufacturing for batteries, a market that is ready to explode,” said Bernard Tourillon, President and CEO of HPQ Silicon. “While HPQ value proposition is derived from harnessing the potential of our silicon materials innovations, manufacturing and commercializing the silicon and nano Silicon materials needed to offer ESG compliant silicon materials to meet the demand of the up-and-coming renewable energy revolution, we could not be here without PyroGenesis and its technical team depth and experience.”
GEN1 NSIR TESTS VALIDATE THE ABILITY TO MAKE HIGH-VALUE NANO SILICON MATERIALS
During the first half of 2021, the Gen1 NSiR was used to validate the following key design parameters of the NSiR process, a new low-cost method to manufacture nano silicon materials:
- The NSiR can produce < 150nm Nano Silicon Materials (Powders and Nanowires),
- SEM imaging of the latest material produced showed that material can be produced in the 10 to 50 nm range, which has direct application for solid-state batteries developers.
- The NSiR can produce Nano Silicon Materials Powder at the throughput needed to allow for low-cost production of nanomaterials (HPQ April 22nd, 2021 release).
“Notwithstanding some unexpected delays, we couldn’t be prouder of where we are in developing this game-changing technology with strategic partners like HPQ”, said Mr. P. Peter Pascali, CEO and Chair of PyroGenesis. “The fact that we are getting closer to meeting a significant challenge in the development of lithium-ion batteries for the electric vehicle market not only proves that we are on the right track and with the right partner, but also validates our commitment as an emerging leader in providing CO2 reduction solutions.”
HPQ VERTICAL SILICON INTEGRATION: A POWERFUL ADVANTAGE
Another key takeaway from the efforts by the Pyrogenesis team is that it confirms the advantage of HPQ’s ability to produce internally sourced feedstock material produced by its proprietary PUREVAP™ QRR process. By controlling the entire chain from raw material, the company can modify the entire process and adapt the feed material required for the NiSR production to meet end-market requirements.