Olivine to Products.jpg

The Process

Our process begins with any variety of silicates, such as olivine, serpentine group minerals, pyroxenes, and amphiboles, which are composed of magnesium, iron, and silica. These minerals are abundant in Earth's crust and are abundantly found  in outcrops around the world.  Best of all, they have little to no inherent carbon . . . meaning no carbon is released from these minerals during processing.

Iron precipitate in solution (pH 7.5).HEIC

STEP 1

Digestion

Acid is used to dissolve olivine. The process can also be adapted for serpentine, mixed mineral systems, and many kinds of basalt rock. At the end of digestion we are left with a solution rich in dissolved silica, iron, and magnesium. 

Silica precipitate unfiltered vs. filtered.HEIC

STEP 2

Separation

Through pH swings and our in-house filtration process, the three products—silica, iron, and magnesium— are individually separated out of solution. The silica and iron separations occur first, leaving us with a high purity magnesium product. At the end of separation, ions in solution undergo electrolysis to rejuvenate the acid and base supply.

Lab display with products.HEIC

STEP 3

Electrolysis

We take the waste products of the separation step and convert it into our starting materials using a water-splitting electrochemical reaction. Using this technology, we are able to fully recycle our waste streams while also producing H2 and O2 as additional, saleable products.

 

The electrical demand (and effective cost) of the electrolysis is minimised through our choice of electrical conditions and AML's in-house electrolyser design.