Metallurgical grade silicon is a purified form of silicon with a purity of around 98% or higher. Silicon is mostly found in the form of silica in the earth’s crust and this silica is then further reduced to metallurgical grade silicon. Metallurgical grade silicon is not highly pure due to the presence of impurities such as iron and aluminum. It has a wide application range in the semiconductor industry and is further purified for applications in the solar industry. Polysilicon, which is a key material in the manufacturing of solar cells, uses purified metallurgical grade silicon as a raw material. Polysilicon is also used in the manufacturing of various microelectronic devices. Electronic grade polysilicon is made from a purer form of metallurgical grade silicon than that used in the manufacture of solar grade polysilicon. A more purified form of metallurgical grade silicon is also known as upgraded metallurgical grade silicon. Metallurgical grade silicon is also used in the manufacture of silicones and silanes, which find a wide range of applications in the personal care industry as well as the chemical industry.
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As metallurgical grade silicon is used in the manufacture of solar cells, the growth of solar cell installations will help in boosting the sales of metallurgical grade silicon. The use of metallurgical grade silicon in the metal industry will also boost sales over the forecast period. Technological developments have also provided a platform for the growth of the electronics industry, which in turn will aid the growth of the metallurgical grade silicon market. Silicones and silanes have a wide range of applications in various industries and thus, the use of metallurgical grade silicon in the manufacture of silicones and silanes will boost the growth of the metallurgical grade silicon market. The ongoing trade war between China and the U.S. will negatively affect the sales of metallurgical grade silicon and thus, retard the market growth of metallurgical grade silicon.
China has registered appreciable growth in electronics and metal industries in the recent years, and the growth of these industries is expected to support the growth of the metallurgical grade silicon market in the country. The end use products of metallurgical grade silicon include polysilicon and polysilicon production has witnessed string growth in North America in the recent years. The electronics industry in North America is also witnessing moderate growth, which is surging the sales of metallurgical grade silicon in the region. The Middle East and Africa region, due to its extreme climatic conditions, has a good scope for the growth of solar cell installations, which is expected to bolster the growth of the metallurgical grade silicon market in the region. Japan has a well-established electronics industry and the steady growth of this end use industry will support the sales of metallurgical grade silicon in the region. The APAC region has also registered appreciable growth in the metal industry in the recent years and is expected to drive the market growth of metallurgical grade silicon. Europe holds a good share in the electronics industry, which is expected to boost the sales of metallurgical grade silicon. Latin America is expected to provide a platform for the growth of metallurgical grade silicon sales, due to its moderately growing electronic industry.
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Examples of some of the market participants involved in the manufacture of metallurgical grade silicon are:
- Baidao Silicon Industry Co., Ltd
- Elkem ASA
- HPQ Silicon
- Silicor Materials
- Mississippi Silicon
- Canadian Metals
- American Elements
- Jiuzhou Silicon Industry Co., Ltd
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