MAGNEX - Viable magnesium ecosystem: exploiting magnesium from magnesium silicates with carbon capture and utilization

MAGNEX aims to alleviate the current criticality of magnesium supply in the EU by addressing bottlenecks in extracting magnesium from highly abundant local resources, natural rocks and industrial waste-streams.


Project information

Project duration


Funded by

Research Council of Finland - Academy Project

Funding amount

1 700 000 EUR

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Project leader

Contact person

Project description

To reach the required economy of scale MAGNEX applies a circular economy approach to cities, which will upcycle critical metals while capturing CO2 emissions from flue gases and producing sustainable construction materials from industrial side streams. That will enable the economy of scale via new products and services, creating market pull for carbon-storing construction materials, opening paths for new business models while structuring socio-economic-legislative shifts to support those novel roles of magnesium in the economy of cities. MAGNEX is a cross-disciplinary project uniting the strengths of three well-established research units from the University of Oulu, Åbo Akademi University and Tampere University.

The problems

Mg supply criticality: Magnesium is a critical material for several industrial segments such as metals production, cement, ceramics, and glass making. Despite the fundamental importance of magnesium for the EU industry (EI= 6.6), the primary supply of magnesium is obtained from China (89 %) which brings a risk of supply vulnerability to the EU supply chain (SR= 3.9).


Unfeasible extraction of magnesium from abundant resources: Even though magnesium is widely available in natural rocks and industrial waste-streams, there is a lack of economically feasible methods for extracting magnesium from those magnesium silicates.

The solution

MAGNEX proposes a holistic concept for tapping magnesium from these highly abundant resources in a circular economy approach, which will not only create a new magnesium supply, but also new products and services to boost the economy of cities. MAGNEX aims to define suitable processing methods for converting those magnesium silicates resources into products for applications in carbon-negative construction materials, targeting market pull through several circular economy synergies.


Professor Ron Zevenhoven, Process and Systems Engineering
Since 2012
- 200 peer-reviewed publications, 1 patent
- 4.5 M€ EU/AoF/BF funding
- ~22 PhDs and 50 MSc theses
Professor Erkki Levänen, Advanced Ceramic Materials
Since 2012:
- 64 peer-reviewed articles, 3 patents, 2 patents pending
- 6 M€ EU/AoF/BF funding
- 8 PhDs and 31 MSc theses

Collaboration network

Dr. Frank Winnefeld, the group leader of the construction chemistry research unit of the EMPA (CH)
The group has strong expertise in Mg-based binders, cement chemistry and thermodynamic modelling of from.

Dr. Martin Kunz, the senior scientist at the Advanced Light Source (ALS), Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley CA
The research collaboration aims to perform in-situ studies of the kinetics and mechanisms of the carbonation reactions, utilizing the ALS beamline for in-situ synchrotron measurements.

Dr. Thierry Tassaing, the CNRS Director of Research, University of Bordeaux, FR
The research collaboration will focus on in situ mineralization studies in scCO2 with Raman and IR spectroscopy, to be executed in the University of Bordeaux.

Rotterdam Harbour Authority, four companies, TU Delft, Citec Oy - Turku
This strong cooperating network will support the piloting of MAGNEX’s routes at industrial scale, thus supporting the large-scale deployment of MAGNEX’s routes.

Associate professor Inga Stasiulaitiene from the University of Kaunas, LT  The research collaboration will explore the LCA studies of the MAGNEX route under an Erasmus agreement.