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A high temperature silicon production process using existing electric arc heater technology is discussed. Silicon tetrachloride and a reductant, liquid sodium, were injected into an arc heated mixture of hydrogen and argon. Under these high temperature conditions, a very rapid reaction occurred, yielding silicon and gaseous sodium chloride. Techniques for high temperature separation and collection of the molten silicon were developed. The desired degree of separation was not achieved. The electrical, control and instrumentation, cooling water, gas, SiCl4, and sodium systems are discussed. The plasma reactor, silicon collection, effluent disposal, the gas burnoff stack, and decontamination and safety are also discussed. Procedure manuals, shakedown testing, data acquisition and analysis, product characterization, disassembly and deconta...
Silicon tetrachloride spray feeder mechanism is incorporated into high-temperature reactor for production of highly pure silicon intended for solar cells. Feeder supplies silicon tetrachloride as liquid droplets that rapidly vaporize in high temperature (2,000 to 2,200 K) reactor zone.
Reactor produces highly pure silicon at relatively high temperature of 2,000 K. Process separates liquid silicon product from gaseous coproducts more easily than conventional lower-temperature processes. High production rates may be obtained in relatively small reaction chambers which could include means for collecting or casting silicon ingots.
The realization of low cost, electric power from large-area silicon, photovoltaic arrays will depend on the development of new methods for large capacity production of solar grade (SG) silicon with a cost of less than $10 per kilogram by 1986 (established Department of Energy goal). The objective of the program is to develop a method to produce SG silicon in large quantities based on the high temperature-sodium reduction of silicon tetrachloride (SiCl4) to yield molten silicon and the coproduct salt vapor (NaCl). Commercial ac electric arc heaters will be utilized to provide a hyper-heated mixture of argon and hydrogen which will furnish the required process energy. The reactor is designed for a nominal silicon flow rate of 45 kg/hr. Analyses and designs have been conducted to evaluate the process and complete the initial design of the...
Of the industrial electric heating devices, one of the most useful and efficient in the high temperature range is the plasma arc heater which heats gases by means of an electric arc. It goes far beyond the temperature range of the conventional furnaces, extending from below 2000 F to almost any conceivably useful processing temperature, with efficiencies much higher than can be achieved with combustion heating equipment. Numerous applications for plasma systems exist in the chemical, metallurgical, and specialty materials areas. The applications for plasma systems to be discussed in this paper include: blast furnace conversions, direct reduction or iron ore, hot blast superheating and hydrocarbon pyrolysis. Both the technical and economic aspects of these plasma applications will be described briefly.
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