Low energy recycling of silicon waste
into high value materials
WHO WE ARE
By use of new proprietary technology, we reprocess silicon waste, aluminum and other metals into high value materials.
Production of wafers for solar panels is a resource intensive process where not more than 60% the silicon material that goes into the process ends up in the finished product. The rest, approximately 40%, is process waste.
In close collaboration with Leading Industry players, Research Organizations and Academia, Nuvosil has developed a break-through, low energy and low CO2 process (Low Energy Recycling) for remanufacturing of such silicon “waste” in combination with other metal materials. The Low Energy Recycling process provides an alternative to industry standard remelt recycling – using 80-85% less energy.
PRODUCTION OF SILICON WAFERS generates ~40% of the starting material as waste (swarf)
Silicon metal particle waste (swarf) results from the sawing process and is recovered by filtering.
Nuvosil’s Low Energy Master Alloy (LEMA) rods – using an environmentally friendly and novel screw extrusion process eliminating the need for high energy intensity heating or re-melting. These master alloy rods are made up of silicon and aluminum. Compared to conventional alloying processes, the LEMA technology consumes/ 90 % less energy, costs less per processed unit and offers a cleaner end-product.
CLEANER – higher purity & less CO2
CHEAPER – lower cost
GREENER – 90% less energy
The key component of the Low Energy Recycling (LER) process is a unit for screw extrusion of metal materials, the LER Extruder. The technology was initially developed by Norsk Hydro and NTNU for use on small particle aluminum materials. In 2018, Nuvosil tested the LER process on a combination of aluminum and silicon. The tests provided very promising results, and in 2020 Nuvosil and Hydro, backed by Norwegian governmental agency ENOVA, launched the LER Pilot project with the aim to build the first industrial scale screw extruder for metal materials, the LER Extruder. Following a design and manufacturing phase, project partner Reifenhauser GmbH finalized manufacturing of the pilot in December 2021. The Pilot is installed at LER test center in Sunndal, Norway where it is currently undergoing extensive testing and preparations for commercial operation. When industrial phase is launched, Nuvosil’ focus will be the market for recycled silicon & aluminum materials, while Hydro will focus on aluminum and non-silicon metal.
Research & Development
Ref: Hydro patent (US9616633B2)
Illustration by permission of Hydro
Illustration by permission of Hydro
Pilot & Commercial Scale Development
CEO & Founder
Former CEO and General Counsel of NorSun
Former General Counsel of Scatec and Partner at Frick, Langseth Law, Oslo.
LL.M, University of Oslo and Stanford University Executive program 2017.
- CEO of Rever Group, a private industrial investment group.Former Managing Director and EVP, Corporate Finance & Investments at Norwegian Energy Company ASA (Noreco).
- BSc in Finance from BI Norwegian Business School and MSc in Business Finance from Queen Mary University of London.
Idar Kjetil Steen
Former Chief Engineer, Project Manager and R&D Process Engineer Norsk Hydro
Product Responsible Casting, Hycast
Metallurgist , AMR Engineering
Master of Scienc, Physical Metallurgy, NTH Trondheim
Former Senior Scientist and Research manager at SINTEF Materials and Chemistry.
VP R&D and CTO in NorSun for 15 years
PhD in Materials technology from NTNU, Trondheim.
Director & Founder
Former Director of Silicon R&D at SunPower.
Former Director of Technology at Intevac (commercialized solar implanters).
Former VP of Engineering at Solar Implant Technologies.
Ph.D. in Engineering Physics, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison and B.S. in Nuclear Engineering, Univ. of California-Berkeley.
Norwegian investor and businessman with 30+ years track record from investments in various sectors, mainly oil & gas, oil services and offshore.
Based in Oslo and London where he operates through his investment platform Rever Group and his private company Ousdal AS.
Currently chairman of Nuvosil AS, Noreco, Rever Offshore and Cecon Contracting AS.
Director & Founder
CEO at Verdagy, a company focusing on green hydrogen.
Board of Trustees Member of the Ellen Macarthur Foundation chartered with advancing the Circular Economy
Former COO of SunPower and Flextronics
Recipient of the ASQ Hutchens Medal for Sustainability
BS, United States Military Academy at West Point and MBA from Univ. of Florida
Nuvosil and Hydro
In August 2020 Hydro and Nuvosil were granted financial support by ENOVA for the Low Energy Recycling (LER) Pilot project, in the amount of MNOK 9,6. The project is a collaboration between Hydro and Nuvosil aiming to verify scalability of the Low Energy Recycling process for use on a combination of silicon and aluminum, and aluminum either alone or in combination with non-silicon materials. The total budget is MNOK 18,3 and the project shall be completed by year end 2021. In addition to Nuvosil and Hydro resources, the LER Pilot project is supported by a strong team of technology and industry partners: SINTEF, NTNU, Reifenhauser GmbH and CEMTEC GmbH.
Headquartered in Norway, Hydro is rooted in more than a century of expertise in hydropower, development of technology and product innovation. Hydro is the only fully integrated company in the global aluminum industry, with operations in 40 countries all over the world. By combining local expertise, worldwide reach and unmatched capabilities in R&D, its 35,000 employees create innovative aluminum solutions for more than 30 000 customers throughout the value chain.
ENOVA is a governmental entity owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment. ENOVA’s purpose is to support and contribute to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, development of new energy and climate technology and a strengthened security of energy supply. ENOVA has 80 employees and is headquartered in Trondheim Norway.