Brief Analysis on the Development of Domestic High Purity Quartz Sand Industry

Release time:

2024-01-29 09:38


Brief Analysis on the Development of Domestic High Purity Quartz Sand Industry



High-purity quartz is widely used in high-tech industries such as photovoltaics, electronic information, optical communications and electric light sources because of its excellent physical and chemical properties such as high temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, low thermal expansion, high insulation and light transmittance. It has an important position and role in strategic emerging industries.High-purity quartz is widely used in high-tech industries such as photovoltaics, electronic information, optical communications and electric light sources because of its excellent physical and chemical properties such as high temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, low thermal expansion, high insulation and light transmittance. It has an important position and role in strategic emerging industries.


Resources of High Purity Quartz Sand in China


At present, there is no unified national standard for the definition of high purity quartz in China. Usually SiO.2Content greater than 99.95%, Fe2O3Content less than 0.0001%, Al2O3Quartz sand with a content of less than 0.01% is classified as high purity quartz sand. As a high-purity quartz with extremely low impurity content, it is a rare mineral that can only be formed under geological conditions that meet specific chemical and physical parameters. Only a few deposits can provide raw materials for the processing of high-purity quartz. The internationally distributed granitic pegmatite in the Spruce Pine area of North Carolina, USA, is the only high-purity quartz deposit in the world that has been affected by the Alerhani greenschist movement.


For domestic, quartz resources are rich in reserves and many types, but the quality is not high, mostly quartzite, quartz sandstone and natural quartz sand. In the past, the raw materials used in the production of high-purity quartz products were mainly crystal, which were distributed in Sichuan, Guangxi, Guizhou, Heilongjiang and other regions; but as of the end of 2017, the natural crystal resource reserves were only 6900 t. With the depletion of crystal resources in China, the domestic development of SiO2Content of about 2N of other quartz mineral raw materials instead of natural crystal processing of high purity quartz research, such as vein quartz, quartzite, has not yet found a large granite pegmatite deposit with industrial value.


The high-purity quartz (crystal and vein quartz) deposits of industrial value in China can be divided into three types according to their genesis: hydrothermal quartz vein deposits, hydrothermal crystal deposits in carbonate rocks, and metamorphic fluid quartz deposits. Indo-Chinese and Yanshanian magmatic activity development areas and strong metamorphic rock development areas are favorable areas for crystal and vein quartz mineralization. According to the distribution characteristics of the existing crystal and vein quartz deposits in China, 10 key metallogenic prospect areas of high purity quartz, such as Kuwei-Qinghe, East Kunlun, East Qinling-Dabie, East China Sea-Ganyu, Jizhong-Yanbian, Alashan, Liaodong, Luxi Uplift, Wuyi Mountain and Xiangzhong, are divided.



Main Application of High Purity Quartz Sand



Quartz tubes, single crystal quartz crucibles and quartz devices produced by high-purity quartz sand are indispensable and important supporting materials in the production of high-end lighting products in the electric light source industry, photovoltaic industry and semiconductor industry in the production of single crystal silicon.


Semiconductor Field



High purity quartz material is the key material in the production process of semiconductor silicon wafer, which plays a key role in the diffusion, etching and other links in the manufacturing process of silicon wafer.


Application of Quartz Material in Semiconductor Industry Chain


In recent years, with the development of a number of innovative applications such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, automotive electronics, driverless, 5G, AR/VR and AI, the semiconductor industry has maintained a high business climate. According to statistics from HIS Markit, the global semiconductor market revenue in 2017 was 429 billion US dollars, and it is expected to maintain an annual growth rate of about 3% in recent years.


Global Semiconductor Revenue Forecast


Photovoltaic field


In the field of photovoltaics, high-purity quartz sand is mainly used in the manufacture of quartz crucibles for pulling single crystal silicon due to its good high temperature resistance and thermal stability. At present, China's photovoltaic industry has basically mastered the key process technologies such as solar cell manufacturing and polysilicon production, the main equipment has gradually realized automation, the industrial scale has increased rapidly, the production cost has continued to decline, and a complete industrial chain has been formed. Driven by the rapid growth of the solar cell industry, the raw material of single crystal silicon quartz crucible is high purity quartz sand, and the market scale is also expanding. It is estimated that the scale of photovoltaic industry will reach 137 billion US dollars by 2020. Quartz crucibles are used as raw materials for the production of photovoltaic modules. With the development of the photovoltaic industry, the market demand for quartz crucibles is increasing.


Global PV Market Size 2011-2019 (US $billion)



Electric light source field


Electric light source quartz products can be used in the production of ultraviolet tube, high purity quartz tube, transparent tube lamp, widely used in lighting and special light source industry, such as incandescent lamp, halogen lamp, HID lamp, sterilization equipment and semiconductor industry used LED lamp. As the replacement of incandescent lamps by LEDs accelerates, the size and penetration of the LED market continues to increase, and the penetration rate is expected to reach 63.9 by 2020. Quartz tube as the production of LED raw materials, the market demand will continue to increase.


Global LED Lighting Market Size, 2009-2018


Supply of High Purity Quartz Sand in China


According to the data of China Architectural Glass and Industrial Glass Association, China's quartz production is increasing year by year. In 2018, China's quartz sand production is 82.55 million t, of which, the output of ordinary quartz sand is 35.18 million t, the output of refined quartz sand is 35.18 million t, and the output of ordinary high purity quartz sand (SiO2≥ 99.5) The output reached 6.36 million t, accounting for a relatively low proportion.


China's Quartz Sand Yield by Variety from 2014 to 2018 (10,000 t)



High-purity quartz sand production capacity is seriously insufficient, at present, only quartz shares can mass production of high-purity quartz sand. Quartz shares in 2009 put into production of high purity quartz sand, breaking the foreign monopoly in one fell swoop, becoming the leading enterprise in the domestic quartz industry. In 2017, the company achieved sales of 10677 tons of high-purity quartz sand, with revenue reaching 0.036 billion billion yuan, a year-on-year growth rate of 108.04, and a good momentum of development. Nevertheless, due to the lack of domestic high-purity quartz resources, the ore used by quartz shares is basically purchased from abroad. According to the announcement, quartz shares imported high-purity quartz sand through Beijing Yabo, the exclusive agent of Unimer in China.


The lack of high-purity quartz sand production capacity and the growth of demand have led to domestic high-purity quartz sand can not meet the development needs, and currently mainly rely on imports. 2018 High Purity Quartz (SiO2> 99.99 per cent of silicon) imports 140000 t and exports only 1800 t.



Statistics on Import and Export of Silicon (HS28046190) with Silicon Content ≥ 99.99% in China from 2009 to 2018 (10,000 t)


Problems and Prospects in the Development of High Purity Quartz Sand Industry in China



Lack of high purity quartz sand resources

China's high-purity quartz sand resources are scarce, production capacity is insufficient, and heavily dependent on imports. And it is the support material of high-end industry. Whether it is possible to consider including high-purity quartz in the list of key minerals or strategic non-metallic minerals, and provide strong support in high-purity quartz prospecting, processing technology, and industrial development from the policy, regulations and national strategic levels.



Lack of High Purity Quartz Raw Material Selection and Classification Evaluation System

Quartz raw material quality evaluation system is not perfect, so far has not yet issued a unified product standard. Domestic selection of high purity quartz sand raw materials also has a certain degree of blindness, simply think that the purity of 2N quartz raw materials can simply choose high purity quartz sand, but often put a lot of financial and material resources is also difficult to achieve the goal. The quality of pure quartz sand products is not a simple correspondence with the content of impurity elements in raw materials, but is related to the selectivity of impurities in raw materials. High purity quartz sand raw materials can not only SiO2The content of the standard, must be combined with the embedded characteristics of quartz, crystallization characteristics, inclusions content and size, the distribution of impurity ions and other properties of comprehensive consideration.



There is still a big gap between processing technology and international advanced level

China's high-purity quartz products are mainly used in semiconductor, photovoltaic and electric light source industries, but most enterprises do not master the core technology of fine processing of high-purity quartz products, the products are basically at the low-end level, it is difficult to meet the quality requirements of high-end electric light source, semiconductor and photovoltaic industry. Comprehensive processing technology, equipment started late, technical confidentiality and other reasons, China's high purity quartz technology and the international advanced level of the gap is still very large.




High-purity quartz has become an irreplaceable key raw material in high-tech fields such as new energy, optical fiber, laser, information technology, aerospace, and microelectronics. With the continuous advancement of China's manufacturing 2025, it is increasingly important to break through the plight of high-purity quartz sand resources, processing technology and equipment.

Development, quartz, quartz sand, industry, raw materials, China, industry, semiconductor, production, resources

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