Quebec — HPQ Silicon informed its shareholders that it received U.S. Patent for its PUREVAP™ Quartz Reduction Reactor Technology.
HPQ says the patent covers the PUREVAP™ QRR innovative process, which permits the one-step transformation of quartz (SiO2) into high purity silicon metal (from 99.5% to 99.99% Si) at reduced costs, energy input, and carbon footprint.
This game-changing advantage means that the PUREVAP™ QRR process not only produces a higher purity silicon material than traditional processes, but it does not require the extremely pure feedstock needed by conventional processes. The process only requires 4.5 MT of raw material to make 1 MT of Silicon, versus the 6 MT required by conventional processes, a 25% reduction which potentially allows a 20% cash cost advantage versus the lowest cost traditional Silicon producer.
Furthermore, as part of its ongoing strategy of protecting and strengthening the PUREVAP™ Intellectual Property Portfolio, a second patent application, focusing on a new and novel process was filed in 2019 and is presently advancing through the process.
“HPQ has been at the forefront of Low-Cost Green Silicon innovation developments since 2015, and getting this U.S. patent approval, combined with the ongoing commissioning of the GEN3 PUREVAP™ QRR pilot plant, has occurred at an opportune time, as demand continues to rise and bottlenecks we had foreseen are now occurring in the silicon supply chain. With ESG principles playing an active role in materials sourcing, the world is more aware of the difficulty of securing the ESG compliant Silicon needed to meet its renewable energy goals. The reality of chronic underinvestment in new technologies combined with the offshoring of Silicon production capacity, has created a massive opportunity for HPQ and its PUREVAP™ QRR patented process, as we are the only company to bring to market a new process to make Silicon that is perfectly suited to the new demands and realities of the Silicon market,” said Mr. Bernard Tourillon, President and CEO of HPQ Silicon.
Si market deficit at 92,000 MT, prices soaring, new greenfield developments needed
Recent market events are focussing attention on the fact that Silicon (Si), also known as silicon metal, is one of today’s key strategic energy metals needed to meet the goal of decarbonizing the economy by 2050.
High Purity Silicon (2N+) is in very high demand due to the underlying needs for Silicon as feedstock for Polysilicon (Solar and Electronics), the emerging Batteries sectors, and the more typical industrial Silicone applications, at a time when capacity is simply not available to meet demand. This is a result of several of the old energy-intensive plants, mothballed during the Covid pandemic, being not economically or environmentally viable to return online. New and efficient greenfield projects will be needed to meet demand, and the PUREVAP™ QRR technology is well-positioned to eventually become the industry’s option of choice.