FUMED SILICA REACTOR (FSR)
The PUREVAP™ Fumed Silica Reactor (FSR) is a patented plasma-based technology that converts quartz feedstock into fumed silica with drastically reduced energy inputs.
Fumed silica’s key markets are extremely diverse, demonstrating the varied applications of the material in end markets. It’s commonly used in paints and coatings, adhesives and sealants, silicone rubbers, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, battery gels, and unsaturated polyester resins, among other things.
THE FSR PROCESS
HPQ’s proprietary method begins with quartz feedstock, which is placed in the Fumed Silica Reactor to be vaporized by extremely high temperatures. The quartz is then re-solidified, transforming into fumed silica, at which point it’s ready for commercial and industrial applications.
The Fumed Silica Reactor — much in the same spirit of HPQ’s other technologies — is designed to modernize an outdated and inefficient silicon manufacturing process.
PAINTS AND COATINGS
Adding fumed silica to paints and coatings improves their rheological regulation while preventing rust and corrosion. A variety of markets — namely furniture and automotives — are driving growth in this sector.
ADHESIVES AND SEALANTS
This makes the material particularly useful for industrial construction applications, for which there is a significant demand.
Incorporating fumed silica into silicone rubbers reinforces the material’s tensile strength and resistance to tears and abrasions. Silicone rubbers are prevalent in a number of critical industries, including portable electronics, medical technology, and aerospace manufacturing, in addition to others.
Synthesizing fumed silica into pharmaceuticals enables the manipulation of drug dissolution rates. Poorly soluble medications can have their activation timeline sped up, whereas others can be slowed down to allow for controlled drug releases.
Adding fumed silica to liquid cosmetics improves their overall rheological control. For powdered applications, the material creates a soft-focus and matting effect. These contrasting properties make fumed silica ubiquitous in beauty products.
Gelling a battery electrolyte with fumed silica — a thickening agent — significantly improves battery longevity on account of it preventing acid stratification. This makes fumed silica highly suitable for renewable energy and battery storage applications.
UNSATURATED POLYESTER RESINS
Adding fumed silica to unsaturated polyester resins regulates the material’s viscosity and thixotropy in addition to preventing solids from settling accidentally.
HPQ’s market opportunity in fumed silica may be concentrated in just a few industries, but the material can still be found in other sectors, including toiletries, printing inks, beverages, and foodstuffs.
PUREVAP™ FUMED SILICA DISRUPTIVE POTENTIALS
The FSR’s efficient manufacturing processes massively reduce energy usage and completely eliminate hydrogen chloride gas byproducts, making the technology particularly ESG-friendly for investors.
The FSR requires just 15,000 kWh per Mt of fumed silica — an 86% reduction in energy usage.
Without the need for chemical treatments to achieve optimal potency, the FSR eliminates all hydrogen chloride (HCl) gas releases.