Dephosphorization of Levitated Silicon-Iron Droplets for Production of Solar-Grade Silicon
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The treatment of relatively inexpensive silicon-iron alloys is a potential refining route in order to generate solar-grade silicon. Phosphorus is one of the more difficult impurity elements to remove by conventional processing. In this study, electromagnetic levitation was used to investigate phosphorus behavior in silicon-iron alloy droplets exposed to H2-Ar gas mixtures under various experimental conditions including, refining time, temperature (1723 K to 1993 K), gas flow rate, iron content, and initial phosphorus concentration in the alloy. Thermodynamic modeling of the dephosphorization reaction permitted prediction of the various gaseous products and indicated that diatomic phosphorus is the dominant species formed.
Appreciation is expressed to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for providing project funding through a Strategic Research Grant.
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