Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol.92, No.7, 1197-1206, 2014
Scale-up design of a 300kA magnesium electrolysis cell based on thermo-electric mathematical models
Magnesium production process is highly energy intensive. Electrolysis provides an effective route to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission for the magnesium production. This paper concerns the scale-up design of a 300kA magnesium electrolysis cell using a three-dimensional thermo-electric mathematical model. The model provides information on the steady-state thermoelectric fields thus allowing the evaluation of the effects of structure parameters (anode-cathode distance, anode thickness, cathode thickness, anode width, and anode number) on the current intensity, resistance voltage drop, and current density. Non-dimensional analyses give a linear relation between the current intensity and a set of dimensionless numbers, which upon further comprehensive analyses, gives a criterion for the scale-up. Such a scale-up criterion is found to be able to predict, within 1%, the amperage of 300kA magnesium electrolysis cells. The results suggest that the criterion could be used for the scale-up design of magnesium electrolysis cells with a high current intensity.