HPQ Silicon is an advanced materials engineering provider that offers sustainable silica (Si02) and silicon (Si) solutions. Based in Quebec, HPQ Silicon is developing a unique portfolio of value-added silicon products sought after by electric vehicle and battery manufacturers, among other industries.
HPQ currently has multiple different company verticals they are working on. They have developed new processes for silica production that through traditional processes are very carbon intensive and require large capex and opex to setup and operate.
HPQ QRR (Quartz Reduction Reactor)
Silicon (Si) or Silicon Metal, is a semi-conductor material and the second most abundant element in earth’s crust. Like all other energy metals (lithium, graphite, cobalt, nickel, etc.) it does not exist in its pure state and is expensive to extract!
EU declared Silicon a critical raw material as a wide range of modern technologies depend on it to make various numbers of industrial and consumer products
The demand for silicon is projected to surpass 3.8 million tonnes, valued between US$15 billion and US$20 billion, by 2025. These numbers do not take into consideration the 300,000 t of Silicon-based anode material demand projected by 2030, representing another market estimated to be worth about US$ 15 billion that will need 3N+ Silicon as feedstock.
The conventional silicon manufacturing processes, with purity ranging from 98.5% to 99.5%, are both expensive and energy intensive. The process, invented in 1899, is still utilized today, making Silicon production the largest CO2 emitter among all metals and non-ferrous metals. This information is based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations body dedicated to climate change research.
HPQ is advancing its exclusive PUREVAPTM Quartz Reduction Reactor (QRR) technology, introducing a novel, compact, modular process that produces silicon with zero CO2 emissions. This innovation employs 25% less feedstock compared to traditional methods.
At the core of the PUREVAPTM QRR lies its Closed Electric Arc Furnace (CEAF) design, designed to operate under precisely controlled atmospheric conditions. This cutting-edge furnace allows the semi-continuous input of Silica (SiO2) and a carbon reductant, streamlining the production of 3N+ silicon in a single step. Importantly, the QRR's design ensures efficient capture of the CO gas (“Co(g)”) generated during the carbothermic reaction, enabling its potential for further utilization.
Conventional Silicon Process
Scalable by minimum increments of about 30,000 tonnes per year (TPY) o Minimum investment needed to build a new plant around US$ 300 M
On average, it costs about US$ 2,000/t to make 98% Si (MG Si)
2N+ (99.5%) Si production requires oxidative refining increasing opex cost o 3N+ (99.9%) Si requires additional purification further increasing its costs
PUREVAPTM QRR process can produce 99.9+ % Silicon (Si) in one step
Scalable by minimum increments of 2,500 TPY allowing for lower capex and entering smaller applications.
Minimum investment 85% - 90% less than conventional plant.
QRR process expected to make 3N to 4N Si for < US$ 2,000/t 
HPQ QRR will make silicon-based materials perfectly suited for battery and other high-value applications for less than any competitors.
Conventional Silicon production
Emits 105 million tonnes CO2 per year worldwide
Silica (SiO2) reduction requires a carbon reductant (Coal, Coke, or Charcoal)
Conventional processes are done in Open Electric Arc Furnaces (OEAF) at high
The carbothermic process alone results in 5 tonnes (t) of CO2 emissions per tonne (t) of silicon produced
Only one option to reduce the carbothermic carbon footprint it’s replacing fossil- based carbon with an organic carbon source
While mitigating a part of their overall carbon footprint, it will never allow conventional silicon producers to produce zero CO2 emissions silicon metal
PUREVAP QRR ZERO CO2 SILICON METAL MANUFACTURING
The QRR, by design, is a Closed Electric Arc Furnace (CEAF) with the ability to operate under controlled atmospheric condition
The CO(g) generated during the carbothermic reaction remains unoxidized by oxygen and can be readily captured for further utilization
By using an organic carbon source, the QRR will produce Zero CO2 Silicon Metal and could even generate Carbon Credits
HPQ intends to commercialize its Zero+ CO2 Silicon Metal under the brand name SILICIUMX
Fumed Silica Reactor
Fumed Silica (Pyrogenic Silica) is a versatile value-added white microscopic powder with high surface area & low bulk density
Due to its unique properties commercial applications encompass various industries including personal care, pharmaceuticals, agriculture (food & feed), adhesives, sealants, construction, batteries and automotive to name a few
The plasma-based process allows a direct Quartz to Fumed silica transformation
Eliminate the Quartz to Silicon phase
Reduce direct C02 emission by over 60%
Remove the need for hazardous chemicals in the process, and § Eliminate Hydrogen Chloride Gas (HCI) releases
Process only requires 15,000 kWh/MT, vs 110,000 kWh/MT for traditional process.
Process feedstock being Quartz, not Silicon; make its Capex a small fraction of what is required to build a traditional Fumed Silica plant
HPQ Silicon is positioning themselves to be an industry leader in new processes that will potentially take over the silicon industry. It is a great Canadian company that's worth a look.