5 Metallurgical Silicon Production

Metallurgical Silicon Production

Posted on January 22, 2011 by team


The Silicium factory in Kazakhstan produces metallurgical silicon in a special way using special ore heat-treating furnaces. This is one of the biggest factories in the whole country and the only one specializing in this field.

Silicon is the second most plentiful element of the Earth’s crust after oxygen. It is commonly found in the combinations with silica and silicate. Pure silicon is used in various semiconductor devices and metallurgy.

2 types of products are made here: metal silicon (used in aluminium and chemical fields) and silicon dust (used in production of extra-strong dry building mixtures).

Silicon of technical purity (up to 99.9%) is made at a temperature of 1800 C inside the ore heat-treating furnaces (the main admixtures are carbon and metals).

The fireproof furnace is a kind of a round steel outer cover with a bottom lined up with fire bricks.

Power supply is maintained by an electrode which is made of graphite and connected with a furnace transformer, energized by the low-voltage circuit.

Silicon is being constantly delivered through a special hole into the steel moulds.

The process of the silicon reduction is taking place inside the furnace with the shunted arc. The temperature here is about 1670 C. The main types of reducers include coal and charcoal (birch and pine).

After having been molten inside the furnace, silica goes to the scoop and then is slopped into the moulds.

Today it’s the only furnace which is in use at this factory but one more is going to start its work very soon. All the end products are exported to the European Union.

By the way, the metallurgic silicon market value is € 2500 per ton.

The factory uses a lot of energy for maintaining the temperature inside the furnace (it’s working 24 hours a day). When it was activated for the first time, it took 2 weeks to reach the necessary limit of temperature.

Gangue quartz is used as raw materials.

Metallurgical silicon gets cool and hard inside the moulds.

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5 Responses to “Metallurgical Silicon Production”

  1. OLUT says:

    Very warm in that place!

  2. DougW says:

    Interesting that born out of that huge industrial process is the tiny little chip that powers every gadget we own.

  3. Musa says:

    It certainly looks like dangerous work. I wonder what it smells like in there? Interesting post and video. Thanks.

  4. carlo says:

    not only cold.in russia

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