High Purity Alumina (HPA)

HPA is the pure form of aluminium oxide (Al2O3). HPA is the pre-cursor material for the manufacture of sapphire glass and ceramic coated Lithium-Ion-Battery (Li-B) separators.

Its value derives from its physical properties of extreme hardness & chemical stability.

Purity is determined by the concentration of trace elements in the alumina compound e.g, iron, magnesium, sodium.

Price and performance of HPA varies upon product density, crystal structure, particle size and distribution and degree of purity.

4N HPA is the largest sector of the HPA market and is seen by Alpha HPA as the most logical sector of the market in which to focus in terms of demand volumes and margin optimisation.

High Purity Alumina (HPA) – Market

High Purity Alumina (HPA) – Demand Outlook 

Consensus market agreement on strong demand growth for HPA to 2025.  Market analysts divided on growth driver being either the increasing adoption of LED (Light Emitting Diode) products and/or separator coatings in lithium ion batteries (Li-B’s).

HPA Demand Outlook (2018-2025)

 

Demand for HPA – Regions

Demand for HPA is primarily being driven by the increasing adoption of LED (Light Emitting Diode) products, separators in lithium ion batteries (Li-B’s) and scratch resistant artificial sapphire glass for smartphone screens and watches.

Growth demand is dominated by the APAC Region (~70% in 2016) primarily China, Japan and South Korea.

As a would-be Australian based HPA producer, Alpha HPA is ideally placed to service the most dominant region of global HPA demand.

Supply of HPA

  • Current HPA supply is concentrated in the Asia Pacific region (~83%) with China the most prolific producer.

     

  • Current production is Dominated by large diversified chemical companies where HPA is a non-core product
  • Alpha HPA sees enormous opportunity as a focused HPA producer to:
    • Become a genuine alternative supply source to the existing dominant APAC producing countries, and more importantly
    • Fill an expected supply shortage as forecast HPA demand escalates over the next decade
  • Alpha HPA stands to become an extremely low-cost HPA producer
  • The HPA First Project represents a large volume, single source, high purity HPA production proposition

Existing HPA Market Production Processes

Existing HPA production is synthesised from Aluminium metal feedstock or produced from hydrochloric acid leach of kaolin clay.

HPA from kaolin – schematic flow sheet

HPA from Al metal – schematic flow sheet

HPA Process technology based on established SX process

  • Alpha HPA holds an Australian, proprietary process approach to HPA production – including by-product credits – producing HPA from an aluminium chemical feedstock
  • Based on established Solvent Extraction (SX) Process (SX accounts for ~25% of global copper production)
  • Highly selective process delivers HPA purity
  • Atmospheric wet chemical process – no high-risk pressure vessels