Aircraft Engine Historical Society Members Only

Magnesium from Sea Water
An Outline of the Process Employed in Great Britain
by Donald H. Smith, M.I.A.E.

This article first appeared in the Volume 5, Number 61 (November, 1943) issue of Aircraft Production magazine, and is presented here through the kind permission of Flight International. Thanks also to Bruce Vander Mark for furnishing volumes of Aircraft Production for scanning.


In the earlier historical survey of the development of magnesium in Great Britain reference is made to the process of manufacturing magnesium from salts extracted from sea water, and it is mentioned that the laboratories of High Duty Alloys, Ltd., anticipated similar developments in U.S.A. However, there was an even earlier claim on a commercial scale, as the British Periclase Co. were producing magnesia from sea water well before WWII began.

In its more recent development magnesium production from sea salts in Great Britain has now reached a considerable figure, freeing manufacturers from the anxiety always attached to imported supplies. Prior to the war, the principal raw material used in this country was magnesite from Greece, and although magnesium is one of the most widely distributed metals, its oxides forming a very large proportion of the earth's crust, our native dolomites are not comparable with imported magnesite for ease of working.


The remainder of this article is available only to AEHS Members. Please Login.