ESD-SIC manufactures silicon carbide (SiC) from the raw materials sand and petroleum coke. Sand and coke are mixed in the correct proportions to create a reactive material. From this mix, a material pile, i.e. a furnace, is built. In the centre of this furnace is a core of graphite, which serves as an electric conductor. The furnace is covered with a plastic film to capture the gases that are formed during the production process, to desulphurise them and to reuse them for energy production.
The graphite core is connected to a transformer and electric voltage is connected. Due to the electric resistance, the core of the furnace reaches a temperature of about 2500 °C. At this temperature, the sand and coke decompose, and crystalline SiC is formed. This intense heating of the furnace requires large amounts of electricity, the process is therefore very energy-intensive.
Silicon carbide is a substance which is used among others as an abrasive and as a grinding agent, as a heat-resistant material in applications including soot filters for diesel engines, and as an additive to cast iron.