Investigation Report CET/IR289R
Alternative Reductants for Silicon Smelting
Final Report and Recommendations
By Keith Clark, CSIRO
for New South Wales Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, June 2000
CSIRO Division of Energy Technology was commissioned by the NSW Department of Urban Affairs and Planning (DUAP) to investigate whether any alternatives existed to the use of hardwood charcoal in the production of high purity silicon metal from a smelter proposed for the Lithgow region. This report details the rationale used for the screening of possible alternatives, the assessment of the alternatives and the recommendations of possible alternatives.
All commercial production of silicon metal throughout the world is performed using a very high temperature process in electric arc furnaces. Carbon, mainly in the form of charcoal or coal, is used to reduce the quartz or silica to the silicon metal.
The carbon plays a multifaceted role in the process and as a consequence there are a number of properties of the carbon that are critical to its efficient operation. The four most significant of these properties have been used as the criteria for selecting possible alternatives to hardwood charcoal.
Download the full report below.
csiroalternatives (65KB Word Document)