At the core of REC Silicon’s technology is our molecule, SiH4, and the safe, sustainable best practices to produce it.
From the manufacturing of Signature Silane® through our diversified silicon gases and polysilicon product lines, we hold ourselves to the highest standards.
It is also an accountability we hold ourselves to in the best interest of our stakeholders and communities where we are deeply rooted.
Starting with metallurgical grade silicon that is about 98% pure silicon, REC Silicon uses patented and proprietary hydrogenation and distillation processes that remove the impurities to levels measured in parts per trillion. Our process is closed loop, meaning continuous while also recycling byproducts of the chemistry process. This results in optimal efficiency and lower process waste.
The result is the purest form of silicon in the world and precursor to our product lines.
REC Silicon’s Siemens process is based on the decomposition of Signature Silane®, (SiH4) or heating until the ultra-pure elemental silicon and hydrogen are separated. This process takes place in a large Siemens reactor, a furnace-like structure, where silicon seed rods are heated and the elemental silicon is deposited, growing progressively larger in diameter as the process continues over time. The hydrogen is removed and recycled back into our own manufacturing process. The resulting high-purity product is ideal for Float Zone (FZ) and Czochralski (CZ) polysilicon applications.
REC Silicon also continues to advance the Siemens process capabilities through innovative products to meet the volume and quality integrity required for our customers’ product development roadmaps.
Fluidized Bed Reactor (FBR) Technology
REC Silicon has an established history of in-house technological leadership and our FBR Technology is a crowning achievement.
Substantial investments to commercialize Fluidized Bed Reactor (FBR) technology for granular polysilicon production resulted in the largest plant of its kind back in 2010. Our next-generation solar grade product – marketed as NextSi™ – was and remains, a game changer for solar industry crystalline cell producers.
A significant amount of energy consumption associated with producing solar modules is at the very beginning of the value chain during the purification of silicon. The Siemens process, most commonly used by polysilicon producers including REC Silicon, is energy intensive. Powered by hydroelectricity at our facility in Moses Lake, Washington State, our Signature Silane® fed Fluidized Bed Reactor (FBR) technology was also designed and large-scale commercialized to produce with the lowest cost and smallest carbon footprint of its kind.
The Benefits of Fluidized
Bed Reactor Technology
With the Fluidized Bed Reactor process, instead of using seed rods, FBR uses seed granules that are continuously fed into a chamber with heated silane gas entering from below and exiting above. The circulation of gas causes the seed granules to flow like a liquid as the silane gas breaks down and deposits silicon layers on the granules as the hydrogen is removed and recycled. Over time, the granules grow larger, heavier, and eventually finish out the bottom ready to use. The resulting energy consumption is reduced by 80-90% per comparable unit of Siemens-silicon produced, while producing more silicon per cubic meter of reactor space.
Further contributing to the smallest carbon footprint in the industry is our Moses Lake, Washington plant’s FBR’s energy source – hydroelectric power, providing one of the best ROI from a cost, convenience, and more importantly, sustainability perspective.
Sustainability is not only integral to the way REC Silicon does business, but how it acknowledges responsibility to stakeholders and the communities where they are deeply rooted.
In addition to our Signature Silane®, REC Silicon is also a leader in differentiated specialty gases.
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