Silicon is a classic metalloid that shows characteristics of metals as well as non-metals. At high temperatures, silicon reacts with nitrogen and chlorine to silicon nitrite or silicon chloride. Silicon does not occur in elementary form in nature but therefor in the form of silicon dioxide and various silicates. Its characteristics largely match those of carbon.
Silicon is used in the steel industry in the manufacture of alloys. As a semiconductor, of which the electrical qualities can be specifically regulated, it is an essential compound in transistors. Silicon dioxide and silicates are applied in the manufacture of glass, glazes, enamels as well as cement and porcelain. As metal powder, silicon is also used in pyrotechnic ignition systems for the mining sector.