Hydrometallurgical Purification of Metallurgical Grade Silicon with Hydrogen Peroxide in Hydrofluoric Acid

Tuesday, 3 October 2017
Prince George's Exhibit Hall D/E (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
H. Lai and X. Luo (Xiamen University)
The effect of adding hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as an oxidizing agent on purifying metallurgical grade silicon (MG-Si) by leaching with hydrofluoric acid (HF) was studied as a function of leaching temperature, particle size, leaching duration and concentration of leaching agents. It was found that the extraction capacity for metallic impurities could be significantly enhanced with introducing H2O2 into HF lixiviant showing litter dependence on HF concentration. By leaching with 1 mol· L-1 HF plus 2 mol· L-1 H2O2 for only 0.25 h at 55 ℃, the MG-Si purity could be upgraded from 99.74% to 99.96%, to 99.99% with further prolonging leaching duration. The sensitivity sequences of precipitates to each etchant were obtained through revealing the micro-structural evolution of MG-Si before and after etching. With the help of Raman spectrometry, it was reasonable that etching silicon starts with first oxidizing reaction by H2O2 and then dissolved by HF. Like Si-Si bonds, some Si-F and Si-O bonds could also be found on silicon surface after acid etching with HF plus H2O2 etchant. After acid leaching, the zigzag silicon surface had been detected by using transmission electron microscopy analysis and the formation mechanism was further discussed.