Project Technical Achievements Press Conference: Co-production of Ultra-high Purity Magnesium Oxide and Power by Galvanic Cell Method, held in Tangshan

Independent Research and Development to Break Foreign Technical Constraints – Project Technical Achievements Press Conference: Co-production of Ultra-high Purity Magnesium Oxide and Power by Galvanic Cell Method, held in Tangshan.

On December 2, 2020, the Project Technical Achievements Press Conference concerning Co-production of Ultra-high Purity Magnesium Oxide and Power by Galvanic Cell Method was held in Changsheng International Hotel, Tangshan Haigang Economic Development Zone, Hebei Province. The press conference was sponsored by the Management Committee of Tangshan Haigang Economic Development Zone and co-organized by the Transformation Research Center of Beijing Institute of Technology (Tangshan).

Cao Quanmin, Deputy Mayor of Tangshan City, Hebei Province, was in attendance, along with Dong Mingming, Director of the Transformation Research Center of Tangshan Haigang Economic Development Zone and Professor of the Beijing Institute of Technology. After hearing a statement of achievements issued by Liang Liang, Deputy Director of the Research Transfer Center of Beijing Institute of Technology (Tangshan), and an interpretation of outcomes from Fu Chaopeng, Cao Quanmin and Dong Mingming, together with the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Appraisal Committee, colleagues from Tangshan High-tech Research and Transfer Center of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and other staff who were present witnessed technological breakthroughs in the preparation of ultra-high purity magnesium oxide through independent research and development of new technology. This technology has accomplished world-leading advances in research, development, preparation, and industrialization of materials. It helps to solve core problems that have limited the quality of high-strength stainless steel, aviation steel, and high-end bearing steel, resolving the status quo bottle-neck that used to be proprietarily possessed by foreign competitors.

As a fine chemical product and high-temperature refractory material, the high-purity magnesium oxide is widely used in advanced fields such as aerospace electronics. Compared with conventional magnesite calcination and seawater/brine synthesis processes, the galvanic cell method independently developed in China produces ultra-high purity magnesium oxide, at lower cost, by a simpler and more stable process, and with higher yield in production. A significant amount of high-quality direct current can also be generated in the process.

The galvanic cell method uses magnesium as the anode of a fuel cell, increasing the safety of production, transportation, storage, and replenishment of the cell, rapidly converting magnesium into magnesium oxide, with added value of nearly 50%. The process generates no industrial waste while generates ultra-high purity magnesium oxide. Moreover, the method innovates by using a carbon-based material as an alternative for conventional precious metal catalysts, reducing cost and improving performance compared with traditional manufacturing processes. This carbon-based non-precious-metal catalyst is world-leading in this field.

Production of ultra-high purity magnesium oxide has long been monopolized by Japan, Europe, and America. Due to limits in local production capacity and quality, China has needed to import large amounts of this material every year from Israel, Europe, Japan, and other countries, to make up the deficit. But the galvanic cell method has solved technical and industrialization problems that have hindered progress in China since the 1970s, finding a way to free us from reliance on this imported product. Previously, China imported about 400,000 tons of high-purity brine-sourced magnesia every year. In the context of wholesale transformation and upgrading in steel enterprises, it is expected that annual demand for ultra-high purity magnesium oxide in the whole sector in China will continue to increase.

During the press conference, Zhou Ningsheng, Professor at the High-temperature Materials Research Institute of Henan University of Science and Technology, and member of the Expert Committee of the China Refractory Industry Association, gave a keynote speech on the theme “Magnesium Oxide and Refractory Materials”. Later, well-known science and technology freelance journalist Dr. Dong Shan presided over a roundtable forum, with guests including Liu Baikuan, Chairman of Puyang Refractories Group Ltd, Li Bo, General Manager of HBIS Group Tangshan Company, Mo Hui, Secretary of the Party Committee and Director of the Management Committee of Tangshan Haigang Economic Development Zone, and Liu Lei, Executive Deputy General Manager of Qixin Capital. They discussed the findings of this project with respect to internationalization, industry, government, and the interests of investors.

According to the Appraisal Committee, the project of the Co-production of Ultra-high Purity Magnesium Oxide by Galvanic Cell Method has now officially entered into the stage of preliminary industrialization. It is expected to achieve a mass production scale of more than 1,000 tons in 2022, and the production capacity will reach 200,000–300,000 tons in 2023–2025.

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