The Tangshan Port Economic Development Zone in North China's Hebei province announced that it will put into operation a production line for ultrahigh purity magnesium oxide by the end of 2022 to boost green and high-quality development in the country's Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
By partnering with the School of Mechanical Engineering of Beijing Institute of Technology, the facility, with an annual manufacturing capacity of 1,000 metric tons, will complete the construction work by the end of this year and conduct trial operation in the first quarter of next year.
Traditionally, magnesium oxide is produced by the calcination of magnesium hydroxide or mineral magnesite. However the process is highly energy-intensive and may lead to heavy pollution. More importantly, the product obtained through the traditional method still contains a significant amount of unfavorable impurities that may largely deteriorate the performance and limit the application of the product.
To solve this long-standing issue, the new production line will adopt a novel electrochemical technology which may mitigate the reliance on external energy supplies, secure zero pollution and lower the level of the unfavorable impurities at the same time.
Huang Yugang, director of the executive committee of the Tangshan Port Economic Development Zone, said as a refractory material, high-purity magnesium oxide can be widely used in the production of functional materials for refined steel.
"It can not only directly promote the improvement of steel in terms of cleanliness, but also shorten the gap between China and developed countries in the field of superalloy technology. Apart from promoting the nation's quality of special steel, it also has great significance in upgrading China's industrial and value chains of the steel industry," he said.
Since the conversion between magnesium and magnesium oxide is reversible, it can be used as an energy carrier to replace the carbon cycle and become a long-term energy storage resource, said Dong Mingming, a professor at the School of Mechanical Engineering of Beijing Institute of Technology.
"Replacing carbon cycle energy with a pollution-free magnesium cycle is conducive to the realization of the national strategy of energy conservation, emission reduction and energy storage," he added.
Liu Changmeng, assistant dean at the School of Mechanical Engineering of Beijing Institute of Technology, said the university will deploy more resources to assist the Tangshan Port Economic Development Zone to further intensify the transformation of scientific and technological achievements, promote industrial upgrading and strive to cultivate new driving forces to support both high-quality growth and the dual-circulation development paradigm.
The new development pattern relies on the domestic market as the mainstay of the economy, while domestic and international markets support each other.
Eager to enhance its innovation strength and connections with the real economy, the School of Mechanical Engineering of Beijing Institute of Technology established a research center focused on industries such as new materials, new energy, vehicle and mechanical engineering, core components for drones, and internet of things applications in the Tangshan Port Economic Development Zone in May 2020.
(Source: China Daily)