National Minerals Information Center

Silicon Statistics and Information

Silicon (Si) is a light chemical element that combines with oxygen and other elements to form silicates. Silicon in the form of silicates constitutes more than 25% of the Earth's crust. Silica (SiO2) as quartz or quartzite is used to produce silicon ferroalloys and silicon metal.   Demand for silicon ferroalloys is driven principally by the production of cast iron and steel.   Silicon metal, which generally is produced like ferrosilicon in submerged-arc electric furnaces, is used not as a ferroalloy, but rather for alloying with aluminum and for production of chemicals, especially silicones. Small quantities of silicon are processed into high-purity silicon for use in the semiconductor industry.

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Emily Schnebele

USGS Mineral Commodity Specialist
National Minerals Information Center
Phone: 703-648-4945