POSSIBILITY OF EXTRACTING SOLAR GRADE SILICON FROM RICE HUSK ASH

Publication Date : 01/08/2017


Author(s) :

Lawal, U., Rufai, I.A..


Volume/Issue :
Volume 12
,
Issue 2
(08 - 2017)



Abstract :

Thepaper presents experimental extraction of silicon from rice husk (RH) of NERICA rice variety obtained from Basawa, Zaria in Kaduna State, for possible use as a material for Solar Cells. Magnesium reduction techniques was employed for the extraction process. The rice husk sample was pretreated, charred and calcined at different temperatures ranging from 500°C to 1000°C to produce rice husk ash (RHA). The RHA produced ware characterized using X – ray fluorescence (XRF) and X – ray diffraction (XRD) techniques to ascertain a purer silica for the reduction process. The magnesium reduction was realized by pyrolyzing the mixture (Silica and Magnesium) at 700°C for 4 hours, followed by leaching of the reduction product in diluted hydrochloric acid (HCl). Characterization of theash calcined at 700°C and the final reduction product with XRF techniques revealed Silica of 98.1% and silicon of 97.69% purity with 14 other elements as impurities such as Aluminum (Al), Calcium (Ca) and with Iron (Fe) having the highest concentration of 0.706%wt. Analysis of the extracted silicon by XRD shows structural formation of silicon having all the major reflections of standardsilicon. Solar grade silicon has a minimum purity level of 98%, while the extracted silicon has purity level of 97.69% which seems to be not suitable for solar cells application. However, the extracted silicon, being a natural semiconductor, canbe altered to be either an insulator, such as glass, or a conductor.


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