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STTR PHASE I: Plasma Processing of Agricultural Waste into Photovoltaic Silicon

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2008 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2008
Title: STTR PHASE I: Plasma Processing of Agricultural Waste into Photovoltaic Silicon
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0740871
Award Amount: $149,933.00


The Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase I project will investigate the production of silane gas (SiH4) and photovoltaic-grade silicon (Sipv) from high silicon content agricultural waste. Current solar cell production struggles against the tremendous cost and complexity of refining Sipv or its more valuable gaseous pre-cursor SiH4. It is believed that the application of electromagnetic energy via a hydrogen plasma can be used to break SiO2 bonds and refine SiH4 directly from both lower grade silicon and from agricultural waste. This is a vast improvement over the current technique which requires the use of highly toxic chemical intermediaries and complex and capital intensive systems. Creating Sipv and SiH4 at lower cost from domestically available renewable resources will enable more aggressive and diverse investment in emerging solar energy technologies. This will help move the US toward nationally independent and environmentally clean energy, providing a broad positive impact both in terms of economy and national security.

Principal Investigator:

David P. Morris

Business Contact:

David P. Morris
Small Business Information at Submission:

ElectroDynamic Applications, Inc.
3600 Green Court Ann Arbor, MI 48105

EIN/Tax ID: 383479349
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
The Regents of The University of Michigan
303 South StateStreet
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 1274
Contact: Elaine L. Brock
Contact Phone: (734) 764-8212
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university