SisAl Pilot: Innovative pilot for Silicon production with low environmental impact using secondary Aluminium and silicon raw materials

SisAl Pilot represents a path-breaking approach, and a strong contribution to “circularity” through industrial symbiosis where the Al industry will act as both a raw material supplier and end user to the Si industry. Across sectors, SisAl Pilot will give substantial reductions in material yield losses, enhanced valorisation of waste- and by-product streams, at a 3 X lower energy consumption and radically lower emissions of CO2 and harmful pollutants, at a considerably lower cost.

SisAl Pilot aims to demonstrate a patented novel industrial process to produce silicon (Si, a critical raw material), enabling a shift from today’s carbothermic Submerged Arc Furnace (SAF) process to a far more environmentally and economically alternative: an aluminothermic reduction of quartz in slag that utilizes secondary raw materials such as aluminium (Al) scrap and dross, as replacements for carbon reductants used today.

The SisAl Pilot project brings together raw material provider, silicon and aluminium key actors, SME´s/consultants/ equipment manufacturers and research organisations (ITMATI) to demonstrate the SisAl process with different raw materials and product outputs in 4 different countries. These pilots will be accompanied by environmental, economic and technological benchmarking, and industrial business cases will be assessed for locations in Norway, Iceland, Germany, Spain and Greece.

ITMATI has a critical task in the development of numerical models of the process in the configuration of induction furnaces. The objective is to evaluate the interactions between physical phenomena (heat transfer, phase change and CFD) in these to optimize their operation and design. The project has the participation of three affiliated researchers to ITMATI: Full Professor Alfredo Bermúdez de Castro (Principal Investigator), Profesor María Dolores Gómez Pedreira, Professor Dra. María Del Pilar Salgado Rodríguez and Professor Dr. José Luis Ferrín González.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 869268.

Area: Connecting economic and environmental gains - the Circular Economy (CE).
Call: CE-SC5-07-2018-2019-2020 - Raw materials innovation for the circular economy: sustainable processing, reuse, recycling and recovery schemes.
Type: IA - Innovation action.