Fluid Bed Dehydration of Magnesium Chloride

Author(s): C. Lee, A. Kamal, K. O'Keefe
TMS 2012, Orlando, Florida. Presented March 11-15, 2012


Molten salt electrolysis of MgCl2 is commonly used for the production of magnesium metal. However, the electrolysis feed must be completely dry with minimum oxygen content. Therefore, complete dehydration of the MgCl2 brine or the hydrated prill is a required process, which is very challenging because of the ease of thermal degradation due to hydrolysis of magnesium chloride.

Fluidized bed dryers are often used, under hot air and HCl environments. The key features of three different types of fluid bed technologies, which can be applied to MgCl2 dehydration plants, are described in this paper. In addition, a discussion of chemistry, unit operations and advantages associated with each option, is presented.

The background information is provided based on open literature sources, including papers and patents. Most calculations are performed using commercially available metallurgical software, for the thermodynamic calculations and mass/heat balances.