STTR PHASE I: Plasma Processing of Agricultural Waste into Photovoltaic Silicon
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.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
ElectroDynamic Applications, Inc.
3600 Green Court Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Number of Employees:
The Regents of The University of Michigan
303 South StateStreet
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 1274
Elaine L. Brock
Nonprofit college or university