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Material Utilization and Waste Reduction through Kerf Recycling

Award Information

Agency:
Department of Energy
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
89724
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
Crystal Systems, Inc.
27 Congress Street Salem, MA 01970
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Material Utilization and Waste Reduction through Kerf Recycling
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-08ER85087
Award Amount: $745,586.00
 

Abstract:

A major loss of the expensive silicon used in the production of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells occurs at the wafering stage, where as much as 50% of this valuable material ends up as a disposal problem rather than being recycled. The waste results from the use of a loose abrasive used with the multi-wire slurry saws currently used to cut the silicon wafers; this abrasive contaminates the swarf silicon and eliminates the possibility of recycling this silicon. This project will develop technology for recycling the swarf silicon via a fixed diamond abrasive process called Fixed Abrasive Slicing Technology (FAST). In Phase I, silicon was wafered on a FAST machine and the recovered swarf was analyzed. The swarf was simulated in composition, phase, and particle size, and then processed in a silicon furnace to produce solar grade feedstock. In Phase II, the processing technology will be scaled-up to demonstrate a clear path to the commercialization of the fixed diamond abrasive slicing of silicon wafers. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: Converting to a recyclable slicing technology would eliminate one of the largest waste streams in PV and reduce the costs and environmental impacts of PV by 50% or more. The technology should lead to a $30 million business, which could grow by over a factor of 100 as the industry converted to fixed abrasive wafering

Principal Investigator:

David B. Joyce
Dr.
9787450088
djoyce@crystalsystems.com

Business Contact:

Leila Panzner
Ms.
9787450088
leila@crystalsystems.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

Crystal Systems, Inc.
27 Congress Street Salem, MA 01970

EIN/Tax ID: 042740567
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No