Impact of Site Elevation on MG Smelter Design

Author(s) P. Baker
TMS 2013 142nd annual Meeting and Exhibition, March 3-7, 2013, San Antonio, Texas


Site elevation has many surprising and significant impacts on the engineering design of metallurgical plant of all types. Electrolytic magnesium smelters maybe built at high elevation for a variety of reasons including availability of raw material, energy or electric power. Because of the unit processes they typically involve, Mg smelters can be extensively impacted by site elevation. In this paper, generic examples of the design changes required to adapt a smelter originally designed for sea level to operate at 2700 m are presented. While the examples are drawn from a magnesium plant design case, these changes are generically applicable to all industrial plants utilizing similar unit processes irrespective of product.