Today, China uses the silicothermic Pidgeon process to produce 87% of the global production of magnesium metal. This crude process, which emits on average 28 kg CO2eq/kg magnesium, is inefficient, toxic, and polluting, but its low labor and energy costs translate to the lowest metal price. The other way to produce magnesium metal relies on electrolytic technologies (the electrolytic process). However, the electrolytic process has high capital costs and produces toxic dioxins and chlorine compounds, and thus is on the decline in the Western world. Russia & the USA currently use electrolytic technology.
Ultimately there is no future for the Pidgeon process due to its carbon footprint, nor the electrolytic process because of toxic outputs and cost.
Magnesium metal is a critical infrastructure material commonly associated with structural light-weighting in automotive, aircraft, and portable electronic segments. Magnesium metal is integral to the betterment of society given its unique properties.
The production of zero emission magnesium metal significantly decreases global carbon emissions. For each car, if we subrogate 10 kilograms of magnesium metal, we save the planet ½ a tonne in CO2 emissions. Magnesium metal is lighter and stronger so when used appropriately equates to less energy being required for propulsion.
Australia's national science agency, CSIRO has developed a third process commonly called the carbothermic process. Magnium has the exclusive rights to bring the patented carbothermic process to global scaled production.
The carbothermic process reduces costs, emissions, and waste in direct contrast to today’s toxic methods for the primary production of magnesium metal.
Modelling confirms that with the carbothermic technology we can secure net zero emissions for magnesium metal production.
The carbothermic method uses supersonic quenching to release the magnesium. Carbothermic technology was used to produce magnesium metal in World War II, but the production plants were closed or destroyed in the War aftermath.
To build the plant and scale the carbothermic process, Magnium has retained the best global talent and successfully developed a small carbothermic plant in Melbourne, Australia. This plant is the precursor to the larger-scale required plants the world demands, to supplant the Pidgeon and electrolytic process.
The positive impact on slowing global warming by subrogating magnesium metal production and the consequent reducing carbon emissions should not be underestimated.
Today, Australia has world-class magnesium resources at its feet and unlimited renewable energy shining on the land – the core inputs for successful magnesium metal production.
When we couple the core inputs with world-leading indigenous technology, and world-class talent, Magnium has the ingredients to successfully step up and play an integral role in reducing global emissions. Some countries today are adopting a national first perspective, at Magnium our vision is global, it is inclusive; our vision is to be commercial and play a small but integral role in reducing greenhouse emissions.