British company, GR2L has claimed to have developed a world first argon recycle system which can offer significant cost savings to solar ingot producers.

The company, led by Dr Rob Grant, has developed the ArgonØ – a commercial product that uses a reportedly new breed of purification technology based on chemical looping combustion for argon recycling.

GR2L claims that ArgonØ can service up to eight vacuum furnaces with a maximum recycle flow limit of around 15 Nm3/hr. Dr Grant claims that the product can be installed with minimal disruption to production, with the installation typically taking hours to complete.

According to the company, ArgonØ is capable of recycling over 95% of the purge gases back to the process at a purity level that exceeds the Semi PV6-1110 requirements.

GR2L claims that solar ingot producers can expect to payback on their investment in two to three years. In addition, the new product is reported to reduce typical vacuum furnace emissions by around 3-5 tonnes per year.