Concerns about climate change call for a careful assessment of the environmental impact of the supply chain of critical materials such as magnesium (Mg) which has a broad range of applications. Enhancing the circularity of this material is vital for ensuring its sustainable use. However, systematic analysis of the sustainability of the global production of magnesium and its circularity is still missing. We propose a novel dynamic model based on geology and processing routes to quantify the key environmental concerns across the life cycle of primary and secondary magnesium. Energy consumption, water use and related emissions are assessed for recycling including functional (recovered Mg reused in the closed-loop supply chain) and nonfunctional (recovered Mg as an element used in aluminum alloys as open-loop supply chain), as well as casting and molding. Results show a significant potential contribution of circularity of magnesium to energy (up to 31 billion GJ) and water (up to 2.7 Km3) savings, as well as the mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (up to 3 billion tonnes CO2 eq), globally. However, the analysis indicates that 87% of secondary magnesium comes from nonfunctional recycling. The result shows the possible increase of nonfunctional recycling of magnesium from 612 kt in 2020 to 1 mt in 2050, and the growth of functional recycling of magnesium from 96 kt in 2020 to 161 kt in 2050. The finding highlights the necessity for improving supply chain policies of Mg through technological developments and operational changes to ensure its sustainable circular economy.
|Julkaisu||Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review|
|DOI - pysyväislinkit|
|Tila||Julkaistu - 12 kesäk. 2022|
|OKM-julkaisutyyppi||A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä|