"Solar-grade silicon: purification in high vacuum furnace"
Funding: Silicio Ferrosolar S.L and Spanish Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI)
Project period: 2014 – 2015
Principal Investigator: Prof. José Manuel Torralba (josemanuel.torralba(AT)imdea.org)
The demand of raw materials for the photovoltaic industry is growing fast. Solar-Grade Silicon (SGS) is the main material for the manufacturing of solar cells. The most convenient method of obtaining SGS is the purification of metallurgical-grade Silicon. During the production process of SGS via impurities evaporation (Boron and Phosphorous mainly) in high vacuum furnace, several problems arise (condensation of contaminated Silicon in the furnace walls and degradation of refractory material due to thermal shock or chemical degradation amongst others). SICASOL project aims optimizing the production process of SGS by minimizing the impact of the production problems above mentioned.