Magnesium is the lightest structural metal and found in many portable electronic consumer devices. Alloys of magnesium can also be used for vehicle light-weighting to improve fuel efficiency.
Magnesium is the 8th most common element on earth and makes up about 2% of the earth’s crust in more than 60 minerals. Essentially, we have a nearly unlimited supply of magnesium ore. Big Blue Technologies hopes to provide an economic, efficient, and reliable method for magnesium metal production from its ore.
Big Blue Advantage
There have been many attempts to commercialize magnesium production. The two main production methods currently used are thermal reduction by ferrosilicon and electrolysis. Big Blue Technologies is focused on a 3rd method of production, thermal reduction by carbon. This method can be an economic and clean alternative due to the low theoretical energy requirements. The process is difficult, leading Wikipedia to claim that this process is "unfeasible." At Big Blue Technologies we understand this chemistry and have developed production methods that overcome the challenges facing commercial implementation.
Big Blue Technologies developed a proof-of-concept system at the University of Colorado achieving Mg production rates of 150 g/hr and extracting >1 kg of Mg. We have scaled-up this system to our pilot system (1-5 kg/hr Mg). This system will be operational at the start of 2019.