Used in various industries, high purity quartz is one such essential material that has very few rich and high-grade resources worldwide. From silicone metal ingots which are processed before being used in the semi-conductor market, high quality quartz is finding increased application in high temperature lighting such as halogen and mercury lamps and also metal halide lamps for car headlights. Also, increasing demand to reduce carbon footprint- solar projects gaining traction, in turn, fuelling the global high purity quartz market. However, this is only a perfunctory.
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Difficult Processing and Pricing Fluctuations: Deterrents to Otherwise Flourishing High Purity Quartz Market
The quality of high purity quartz required by various industries depends on the elaborate and niche processing. Along with processing, the pricing of high purity quartz is also a tough nut to crack- considering competition in the high purity quartz market is very limited unlike other industrial mineral markets. Depending upon the end-use application, the raw quartz has to be freed of nay impurities to be used in its purest form. However, according to Dorfner Anzaplan, internationally acclaimed German laboratory with extensive experience in processing and analysis, some HPQ applications are becoming restrictive in nature owing to very low boron and phosphorus content. According to recent study, difficulty in analyzing small parts per billion and sample separation are the two primary areas where chances of impurities being introduced in high purity quartz is at its peak. Researchers from Dorfner Anzaplan have also indicated that there is no specific way to process quartz- as the composition of quartz would defne its processing design.
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In terms of pricing, studies have shown that inflation due to external factors such as cost of HF acid/fluorspar- a large component of the total cost product and cost of chemical aids used to process high purity quartz is anticipated to impact the global high purity quartz market.
High Purity Quartz Production from Low-Grade Quartz to Dilute the Market
Factors like as low natural availability, technological secrecy, non-ecological production techniques, and increasing cost of HF and other leaching chemicals are attracting prominent investments to R&D and infrastructure to set up technologies and facilities that enable HPQ production from lower grade quartz with purities as low as 95% to reduce the carbon footprint and guard against HF price increments. Although the advent of many such technologies is anticipated to translate into a slight decline for the global HPQ market in the near future, it also means that such a practice would dilute the high purity quartz market.
Additionally, high purity quartz market being a highly competitive playing field, has witnessed very little to miniscule technical expertise. Reluctance among prominent suppliers about disclosing production as well as processing techniques in fear of losing their margins to upcoming players is preventing, and in many cases, delaying the entry of a large number of quartz players, even those with fairly high natural purity (99.9% +) in the HPQ industry.