2022-11-01 10:14Press release

Ragn-Sells' research on magnesium extraction from oil shale ash receives a state grant of 225,000 euros from Estonia

The Ida-Viru County in Estonia has approximately 600 million tonnes of oil shale ash mountains.The Ida-Viru County in Estonia has approximately 600 million tonnes of oil shale ash mountains.

Environmental company Ragn-Sells has received a state grant of 225,000 euros from Estonia. The grant, provided by Enterprise Estonia association and KredEx, will enable continued research into how magnesium, defined as a critical raw material by the EU, could be extracted from oil shale ash.

- Today, almost half of our climate impact is linked to the way we extract resources and produce goods. By using already extracted resources over and over again, we will be able to generate recycled raw materials without exhausting our planet’s resources and as a consequence avoid fuelling the climate crisis, says Alar Saluste, project manager, Ragn-Sells Estonia.

In the EU alone, 155,000 tonnes of magnesium are needed annually, of which almost 93 percent is currently imported from China. In the work to extract resources from the oil shale ash, such as calcium carbonate, Ragn-Sells is also now exploring the possibility of extracting magnesium.

- Given that the EU wants to become more self-sufficient in the supply of these critical raw materials and aims to produce at least 100,000 tonnes of magnesium within its borders by 2030, we could supply of around 30 percent of that annually. Considering that Ida-Viru County in Estonia has approximately 600 million tonnes of oil shale ash mountains, this is a big opportunity, says Alar Saluste.

The cooperation with Enterprise Estonia and KredEx is one of the most important partnerships in the Ragn-Sells’ OSA project. Thanks to in part previous grants from Enterprise Estonia and KredEx, the OSA project of valorising oil shale ash is now moving from the test laboratories at the University of Tartu and TallTech, into the planning phase of establishing a demonstration plant.

 - On the global stage, this project is attracting attention from a circular economy point of view, and also for the possibility to extract magnesium from the ashes with 80 percent less carbon footprint compared to today's production, says Saluste.

For further information, please contact:
Alar Saluste, project manager at Ragn-Sells Estonia, +372 53494861, alar.saluste@ragnsells.com
Emma Ranerfors, press officer at Ragn-Sells, +4610 723 24 16, press@ragnsells.com

FACTS: Magnesium
Magnesium is a very light metal that is widely used in our daily lives, for example in the automotive, aerospace, and other types of mechanical industries. Magnesium compounds are used in the manufacturing of rust and scale removers, glass, medicines, paints, and many other items. Magnesium is also a commodity required in agriculture as a valuable fertiliser and an important crop nutrient.

About Ragn-Sells Group

The environmental company Ragn-Sells converts waste into raw materials that can be used over and over again. Ragn-Sells drives the transition to a circular economy through solutions that reduce its own and other actors' environmental and climate impact. Ragn-Sells wants to be living proof that caring for the earth and business go hand in hand. Ragn-Sells is a family owned corporate group founded in 1881. The company operates in five countries and employs 2,500 persons. In 2021, Ragn-Sells’ turnover was SEK 7.6 billion. www.ragnsells.com


Emma Ranerfors
Press Officer
Emma Ranerfors