Magnesium Smelter Technology
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 . 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...
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