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ENERGIX-Stort program energi

Silicon production using hydrogen as reductant

Alternative title: Silisium produksjon med hydrogen som reduksjonsmiddel

Awarded: NOK 12.0 mill.

Project Number:


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Project Period:

2021 - 2026

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Project SiH2 presents a novel process concept for silicon (Si) production where hydrogen is used as reductant instead of solid carbon, and thus without CO2 emissions. The project will develop fundamental knowledge that can enable the silicon producing industry to reach their goal of zero CO2 emission in 2050. This will be an important step to reach the goals for the Paris climate agreement. Silicon is a main component in solar cells and thus required for the green shift. In addition, it is used in many areas important for our daily life, as in construction materials, silicones, and as additive in steel and aluminium used for instance in cars. Likely (25-50 % probability) there is silicon produced in Norway in your mobile phone and other electronic devices. But production of silicon requires substantial amount of energy 11MWh/ton and produces 5 kg CO2/kg Si. The industry is eager to reduce theese numbers, but this is not easy. Hydrogen can not be used directly. Project SiH2 proposes to overcome this by a two-stage process where one of the oxygen atoms in the raw material, SiO2, is removed by reacting with some of the produced Si circulating in the process and the other oxygen atom is removed by hydrogen. There are several theoretical and practical challenges that must be overcome to realise such a process. These will be addressed by both theoretical simulation on an atom level and experimental investigations at temperatures as high as 2000 oC. This will provide fundamental knowledge needed for further technical development of a completely new process for silicon production and reveal the challenges that must be overcome in further development.


Project SiH2 presents a new process consept for silicon (Si) production where hydrogen is used as reductant instead of solid carbon, and thus without CO2 emissions. SiH2 will do the fundamnetal reserach required to obtain competence about the involved reactions and for clarifying the potentials for the proposed process. THe concept is based on reactions in two stages. First SiO-gas is produced by reaction between silica (SiO2) and Si. The produced SiO-gas is then reduced by hydrogen to Si and water vapour (H2O). Around half of the produced Si is recirculted back to the SiO generator and used there. In SiH2 the optimal conditions for the combined reactions in the system will be identified. Reaction mechanisma and kinetics for the two involved reactions will be determined by a combination of experimental investigations and theoretical modelling. The project includes a 3 year Post Doc. The project results will be open and shared both through publications and workshops. It is planned to arrange scientific workshop with international partners in INTPART Thanos and industrial workshop with Norwegian Si-producers.

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Funding scheme:

ENERGIX-Stort program energi