Silicon Carbide Recycling

Silicon Carbide (SiC) has emerged as an essential technological material. It’s utilized for use in abrasives, technical ceramics and refractories – as well as semiconductor manufacturing.

Produced by heating silica sand mixed with carbon in the form of petroleum coke at high temperatures in huge open “Acheson” furnaces, SiC is then produced in both Green and Black variants for use as building material.

Materiał ścierny

Silicon Carbide (SiC) is an industrial material with numerous applications in abrasives production, semiconductor chips manufacturing and crystal radio production (see picture below). Pure SiC itself is colorless; however, iron impurities give it its brown-to-black hue. Furthermore, SiC serves as both a catalyst and high temperature furnaces – so what else could possibly go wrong?

Wire sawing of silicon ingot wafers produces large volumes of SiC slurry waste. This mixture includes powdery SiC, responsible for hardness and cutting performance, as well as polyethylene glycol (PEG), which serves as both carrier and coolant. During sawing operations, the particle size distribution changes, becoming polluted with dust particles; for reuse purposes it must then be purified before being reused again.

Researchers at Rice University are developing a new way of upcycling silicon ingot waste into an energy-efficient, cost-effective, and high-quality abrasive product utilizing liquid-liquid extraction and alkali dissolution to produce a powder mixture with 72% SiC and 28% silicon content – later used to grind, polish, or sand objects; it can even be found in airplanes or windmills!

Electric Vehicles

Power electronics are at the core of electric vehicles (EVs) and will fuel mass car electrification. Silicon carbide (SiC) has become an attractive replacement material in energy conversion systems such as main traction inverters for BEVs and FCEVs; this allows for improved energy efficiency, lower switching losses, safer high temperature operation, increased voltage capability within smaller and lighter weight systems.

SiC has become an essential material in the electric vehicle (EV) sector, from small inverters to large converters and accumulators. This area represents immense growth potential for manufacturers of SiC technology; therefore it is imperative that they stay abreast of developments that could change demand for their product(s).

New EVs use batteries with much larger capacities and demand more power from their inverters to manage this load, necessitating more MOSFETs per inverter and potentially increasing demand for silicon carbide MOSFETs.

To meet this growing demand, businesses need to develop a sound recycling strategy that considers market, value chain and technology dynamics. Companies that can quickly develop key capabilities and form partnerships that support EV business will gain competitive edge and create value; it will also include reviewing reinvestment timelines to ensure they don’t fall behind on demand curve.


Silicon Carbide (SiC) is a synthetic industrial mineral widely utilized across numerous industries due to its exceptional properties, such as its hardness, high temperature resistance and chemical resistance. While moissanite can be found naturally only in trace amounts in certain meteorites or corundum deposits, most SiC produced today comes in synthetic form as either granules or powder.

Unfortunately, much of the material that makes its way onto production lines ends up as byproducts of manufacturing processes, with much slag waste (containing silicon and carbon ) typically ending up discarded into furnaces as waste. Up until now, its only option was incineration or solvolysis which is energy intensive and produces hazardous byproducts.

Researchers have developed a process called flash upcycling to transform this slag into high-grade silicon carbide (SiC). By heating it at temperatures reaching 2,400 degC in an inert atmosphere furnace, flash upcycling yields pure silicon carbide that can be utilized across many applications.

Separation and purification processes exist for this slag, yet their ability to recover high-grade applications for such as high quality applications is restricted due to grain size limitations and cutting performance issues; current recycling methods involve downcycling or deponierung; Fraunhofer IKTS has created an affordable method of recycling powdery SiC waste products using simple yet economical processes and products.


Silicon carbide is a hard and durable non-oxide ceramic with an impressive array of physical and chemical properties, such as high strength, low thermal expansion, and its ability to withstand extreme temperatures – qualities which have made it popular as refractory material as well as power electronics components for electric vehicles and 5G wireless transmitters. Unfortunately, production costs of silicon carbide remain relatively expensive.

SiC is widely recognized for its very high-grade crystallized form, used for medical applications like cutting tools and surgical implants. According to estimates, its annual production costs could reach as much as $1.5 billion!

Researchers have successfully developed an environmentally-friendly way of producing silicon carbide from waste glass and plastic. By employing an energy-efficient flash upcycling process, they have transformed end-of-life glass fiber-reinforced plastics (GFRP) into silicon carbide (SiC). GFRP is an abundant material found everywhere from aircraft parts to windmill blades but its strong yet durable qualities often make recycling it challenging when its life has reached an end.

Flash upcycling is an environmentally-friendly alternative to incineration and solvolysis that utilizes toxic chemicals. Furthermore, life cycle analysis shows that this regenerative system produces less energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption than traditional FRP disposal methods.

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