Specialist equipment supplier, GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) is claiming its new hydrochlorination solution for trichlorosilane (TCS) production used in fluid bed reactor (FBR) polysilicon production takes production costs below US$14/kg.
Polysilicon prices have been in declining sharply for several years due to overcapacity and weaker than expected demand, which is driving the need to find innovative ways to reduce polysilicon production costs for the key technologies used (Siemens process and FBR) to make the material.
Dave Keck, vice president and general manager of GT's Polysilicon Business Unit, said: “In volatile and changing market conditions polysilicon producers must find ways to improve their cost structure to remain competitive. Our new hydrochlorination solutions, combined with our industry-leading SDR reactors, address this need.”
GTAT said that the new hydrochlorination solution was designed for high-volume applications (10,000 tonnes per annum), and would provide a 20% reduction in the cost of ownership.
However, GTAT also claims that its next generation hydrochlorination heater technology further reduces production costs by increasing conversion in the hydrochlorination FBR step from 27% to 30%.
When combined with its ‘SDR 600’ reactor capable of producing over 600 tonnes of polysilicon annually, a polysilicon cash cost of US$14/kg can be achieved.