What is HPA?  

  • Aluminum oxide (Al2O3) is generally known as alumina
  • Alumina is widely used in many large product categories, such as refractories and substrates in electronics
  • Most alumina is produced from bauxite ore, as is aluminum metal
  • High Purity Alumina contains at least 99.99% Al2O3 (4N)
  • 5N and 6N are purer forms of HPA that contain at least 99.999 and 99.9999% Al2O3


HPA is used in manufacturing many products for which demand is growing rapidly, such as:

 

How is HPA made? 

Currently most HPA is produced from aluminum metal using hydrolysis or thermal processes. Yava and other companies around the world have focused their research on improving techniques for producing HPA. Yava’s approach has the potential to employ a variety of alumina containing substrates including coal fly ash to manufacture HPA.

Production by process 

 
 
 
 

Yava has developed a proprietary process that has the following characteristics:

  • Low capital costs—relies on readily available, reliable standard industrial equipment rather than custom designed processing equipment
  • Regeneration of reagents yields a closed loop with minimal discharges—and no toxic waste
  • Flexibility to use a variety of low cost, widely available feedstocks
  • Very small carbon footprint (Yava Alumina’s demonstration plant in Quebec will consume low cost hydro-generated electricity)
  • Capability to produce very pure HPA (99.998%) with target of 5N+
  • Ability to produce HPA with physical characteristics (e.g., particle size and distribution, density, porosity) to meet the exacting specifications of end-users
  • HPA is a huge growth story… the eyes of the car companies turn from time to time and they’ve landed at the moment on HPA.–Toby Green, CRU International (global consultancy)

Where is HPA produced?

 

What makes HPA such a highly valued and sought-after material?

i) HPA is a critical ingredient in the manufacture of many high-growth products due to its unique combination of characteristics

  • Chemically stable with high melting point
  • Good thermal conductivity and high heat resistance
  • Very hard with high mechanical strength
  • Resistance to corrosion, abrasion and cracking
  • Excellent electrical insulation and resistance
  • High brightness

ii) In many applications such as the fabrication of semiconductors, HPA is the material of choice of a growing number of manufacturers.

iii) In the production of some products such as sapphire substrates for LEDs and sapphire glass for display screens there is no known substitute material for HPA.

Purity Price Range (US$/kg) Notes
     
4N $25 – $40 varies based on metal impurities and other specs
5N $40 – $70 ~2X the 4N value
6N >$60  low volume, non-commodity sales