Encyclopedia of Applied Electrochemistry

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerhard Kreysa, Ken-ichiro Ota, Robert F. Savinell

Magnesium Smelter Technology

  • Geir Martin HaarbergEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-6996-5_454


The annual production of primary magnesium metal was about 800,000 metric tons in 2010, while the production capacity was about 1.3 million tons [1]. Today, magnesium is mainly produced by the Pidgeon process, which involves the reduction of MgO by silicon in the form of ferrosilicon. Electrolysis was the dominant production route in the 1990s. The thermal process is presently more economic, but electrowinning may be more sustainable and could again become more important in the near future. However, electrolysis is still important for producing magnesium for reducing TiCl4 within the Kroll process for titanium production. Information about innovations and performance data related to magnesium electrolysis has traditionally been rather secretive. Therefore, the literature is scarce. There are some useful review articles [2, 3, 4].

Small quantities of electrolytic magnesium were produced by Davy and Faraday in the first half of the 1800s. The modern industrial electrolysis...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    Strelets KL (1977) Electrolytic production of magnesium. Keterpress Enterprises, JerusalemGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kipouros GJ, Sadoway DR (1987). In: Mamantov G (ed) Advances in molten salt chemistry, vol 6. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Høy-Petersen N (1990) From past to future. Light Metal Age 48:14–16Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Haarberg GM, Tunold R, Osen KS (2001) Voltammetric characterization of dissolved oxygen and hydrogen containing species in chloride melts. In: Rosenkilde C (ed) Jondal 2000, Proceedings, international symposium, p 147Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boghosian S, Godø A, Mediaas H, Ravlo W, Østvold T (1991) Acta Chem Scand 45:145Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Vilnyanski YE, Savinkova EI (1957) J Appl Chem USSR 28:827Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    van Norman JD, Egan JJ (1963) J Phys Chem 67:2460Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Martinez AM, Børresen B, Haarberg GM, Castrillejo Y, Tunold R (2004) Electrodeposition of magnesium from CaCl2-NaCl-KCl-MgCl2 melts. J Electrochem Soc 151:C508–C513Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mohamedi M, Børresen B, Haarberg GM, Tunold R (1999) Anodic behaviour of carbon electrodes in CaO-CaCl2 melts at 1123 K. J Electrochem Soc 146:1472Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wallevik O, Amundsen K, Faucher A, Mellerud T (2000) Magnesium electrolysis – a monopolar viewpoint. In: Kaplan HI, Hryn J, Clow B (eds) Magnesium technology 2000. The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, Warrendale, pp 13–16Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ishizuka H (1985) Method for electrolytically obtaining magnesium metal. US Patent 4,495,037Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sivilotti OG (1985) Metal production by electrolysis of a molten electrolyte. US Patent 4,514,269Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway