Viewing Aluminum Oxide - University of California 3rd Annual Pitch Competition

Shawn Headley

Alumni of UC Davis - UC Davis Electrical and Computer Engineering (Undergraduate)

Aluminum Oxide

Our team is commercializing a novel, low cost, environmentally friendly process for refining aluminum into Ultra High Pure Aluminum Oxide. The novel “Woodall Process” operates at a fraction of the cost of existing processes and the only waste products are Heat and Hydrogen gas. The most popular method of manufacturing high purity alumina is known as the Bayer Process, which requires a tremendous amount of energy and is very capital intensive. This process is also very environmentally unfriendly, causing large amounts of air pollutants and the processing plants produce large ponds of “red mud”. 3 large manufacturers in China and one in Brazil were shut very recently down due to these environmental concerns, leaving a large capacity gap in an expanding market that our venture is setting out to fill. The Woodall process’s only waste products are Heat and Hydrogen gas, plus operates at a fraction of the cost of existing refining technology. The novel Woodall process synthesizes $2 per kg aluminum into $40 per kg High Purity Alumina (HPA) when the existing competitors cost of production is approximately $20 per kilogram. Aluminum Oxide also known as Alumina, is a chemical with a unique set of properties. At high purity, Alumina can address the needs of the semiconductor industry and is a new addition to lithium-ion battery manufacturing, which is dramatically increasing the demand for high purity alumina worldwide. The current market for high purity aluminum (HPA) is approximately 25,000 tons per year and forecast to grow to 90,000 tons per year in 2024 with the new demand from the Lithium-Ion battery separator manufacturers. The total existing HPA market of N4 and N5 grades is valued at over USD $2 billion per year and with the new demand coming from the Li-Ion battery separator manufactures. This new demand is expected to double the value of the market to over USD $4 billion per year, so supplying the existing N4 and N5 markets plus the growing N5 battery separator demand represents a significant economic opportunity.

Primary Industry Sector: Advanced Materials
Funding Status: Preseed

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