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

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0740871
Agency Tracking Number: 0740871
Amount: $149,933.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: AM
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
3600 Green Court, Ann Arbor, MI, 48105
DUNS: 610511334
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 David Morris
 PhD
 (734) 786-1434
 massey@edapplications.com
Business Contact
 David Morris
Title: PhD
Phone: (734) 786-1434
Email: massey@edapplications.com
Research Institution
 The Regents of The University of Michigan
 Elaine L. Brock
 303 South StateStreet
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109 1274
 (734) 764-8212
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
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.

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