The National Metallurgical Laboratory (NML) developed the retort process and transferred the technology to an industry in 1980ís. The process was operated successfully for several years. NML can provide know-how for this process including a techno-economic assessment. The Laboratory launched a program to develop a process for the production of magnesium by the electro-thermal route which is more energy-efficient [retort process: 30 kWh per kg of magnesium produced; electro-thermal process: 9 kWh per kg of magnesium. NML operated a pilot plant with a capacity to produce 50 kg of magnesium per day and demonstrated the feasibility of producing the metal by this route. The pilot plant is available for demonstration of the process and further development.
NML is currently investigating the production of magnesium from magnesium oxide produced from wastes or obtained as by-product from other industrial processes. This will lead to considerable savings on the cost of raw materials and also provide a solution for utilization of waste. The process is being developed using the retort as the reactor vessel. In another process, being investigated in parallel, magnesium silicate from mines, either as a waste or as the main produce will be used as the raw material, in the place of calcined dolomite, for the production of magnesium using the electro-thermal route. It is planned to substitute this with slags produced in industrial operation, with the raw material serving as the source of magnesium.
Generated know-how for the production of magnesium in retort process
Demonstrated the feasibility of producing magnesium using the electro-thermal route. The Laboratory can optimize the operation parameters for the production of magnesium in electrothermal processing on behalf of industry-the expertise and equipment required are available with the Laboratory
Pilot plant for the production of magnesium using the electro-thermal process
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