My PhD project:
Modelling of Thermal Magnesium Processes
Magnesium is an important metal with attractive properties for the light weighting of cars. The dominant process for making magnesium is the Pidgeon process which is small batch wise process based on silicothermic reduction of dolomite. The process is operated at low temperatures and under vacuum, resulting in a relatively high purity product but produced very slowly. A continuous atmospheric pressure route is currently under development in South Africa based on a similar chemistry, whilst in Australia there is significant work on developing a continuous carbothermic route to magnesium. This project will concentrate on modelling of the physical chemistry of these processes, particularly the silicothermic route, to determine what purity product can be achieved for a range of process configurations and operating conditions.
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