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Magnesium is a
chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo du ...
with the
symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), m ...
 Mg and
atomic number The atomic number or proton number (symbol ''Z'') of a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. ...
 12. It is a shiny gray solid which bears a close physical resemblance to the other five elements in the second column (group 2, or
alkaline earth metals The alkaline earth metals are six chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure ...
) of the
periodic table The periodic table, also known as the periodic table of (the) chemical elements, is a tabular display of the chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is ...

periodic table
: all group 2 elements have the same
electron The electron is a subatomic particle (denoted by the symbol or ) whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge. Electrons belong to the first generation (particle physics), generation of the lepton particle family, and are general ...

electron
configuration in the outer electron shell and a similar crystal structure. This element is produced in large, aging
star A star is an astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma Plasma or plasm may refer to: Science * Plasma (physics), one of the four fundamental states of matter * Plasma (mineral) or heliotrope, a mineral aggregate * Quark ...

star
s from the sequential addition of three
helium nuclei Alpha particles, also called alpha rays or alpha radiation, consist of two proton A proton is a subatomic particle, symbol or , with a positive electric charge of +1''e'' elementary charge and a mass slightly less than that of a neutron. Proto ...
to a
carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a with the C and 6. It is lic and —making four s available to form s. It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Carbon makes up only about 0.025 percent of Earth's crust. Three occur naturally, ...

carbon
nucleus. When such stars explode as
supernova A supernova ( plural: supernovae or supernovas, abbreviations: SN and SNe) is a powerful and luminous stellar explosion. This transient astronomical event occurs during the last stellar evolution, evolutionary stages of a massive star or when a ...

supernova
s, much of the magnesium is expelled into the
interstellar medium In astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses math ...
where it may recycle into new star systems. Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the
Earth's crust Earth's crust is a thin shell on the outside of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The ...
and the fourth most common element in the Earth (after
iron Iron () is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behav ...

iron
,
oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same ...

oxygen
and
silicon Silicon is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Si and atomic number 14. It is a hard, brittle crystalline solid with a blue-grey metallic lustre, and is a Tetravalence, tetravalent metalloid and semiconductor. It is a member ...

silicon
), making up 13% of the planet's mass and a large fraction of the planet's
mantle Mantle may refer to: *Mantle (geology) A mantle is a layer inside a planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a n ...
. It is the third most abundant element dissolved in seawater, after
sodium Sodium is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical eleme ...

sodium
and
chlorine Chlorine is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemica ...

chlorine
. Magnesium occurs naturally only in combination with other elements, where it invariably has a +2
oxidation state The oxidation state, or oxidation number, is the hypothetical charge Charge or charged may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Charge, Zero Emissions/Maximum Speed'', a 2011 documentary Music * Charge (David Ford album), ''Charge ...
. The free element (metal) can be produced artificially, and is highly reactive (though in the atmosphere it is soon coated in a thin layer of oxide that partly inhibits reactivity – see passivation). The free metal burns with a characteristic brilliant-white light. The metal is now obtained mainly by
electrolysis In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in ...

electrolysis
of magnesium
salts In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during ...
obtained from
brine Brine is a high-concentration solution of salt (NaCl) in water (H2O). In different contexts, ''brine'' may refer to salt solutions ranging from about 3.5% (a typical concentration of seawater, on the lower end of solutions used for brining food ...

brine
, and is used primarily as a component in
aluminium Aluminium (aluminum in and ) is a with the  Al and  13. Aluminium has a density lower than those of other common , at approximately one third that of . It has a great affinity towards , and of on the surface when exposed to air ...

aluminium
-magnesium alloys, sometimes called ''
magnalium Magnalium is an aluminium Aluminium (aluminum in American English, American and Canadian English) is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Al and atomic number 13. Aluminium has a density lower than those of other c ...
'' or '' magnelium''. Magnesium is less dense than
aluminium Aluminium (aluminum in and ) is a with the  Al and  13. Aluminium has a density lower than those of other common , at approximately one third that of . It has a great affinity towards , and of on the surface when exposed to air ...

aluminium
, and the alloy is prized for its combination of lightness and strength. This element is the eleventh most abundant element by mass in the
human body The human body is the structure of a Human, human being. It is composed of many different types of Cell (biology), cells that together create Tissue (biology), tissues and subsequently organ systems. They ensure homeostasis and the life, viabi ...

human body
and is essential to all cells and some 300
enzymes Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts (biocatalysts). Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions. The molecules upon which enzymes may act are called substrate (chemistry), substrates, and the enzyme converts the substrates int ...
. Magnesium ions interact with
polyphosphatePolyphosphates are salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its natural form as a crystallinity, crystalline mineral is known as ...
compounds such as
ATP ATP may refer to: Companies and organizations * Association of Tennis Professionals * American Technical Publishers * ', a Danish pension * Armenia Tree Project * Association for Transpersonal Psychology * ATP architects engineers office * ATP ...

ATP
,
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral gro ...

DNA
, and
RNA Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a polymer A polymer (; Greek ''wikt:poly-, poly-'', "many" + ''wikt:-mer, -mer'', "part") is a Chemical substance, substance or material consisting of very large molecules, or macromolecules, composed of many Re ...

RNA
. Hundreds of enzymes require magnesium ions to function. Magnesium compounds are used medicinally as common
laxatives Laxatives, purgatives, or aperients are substances that loosen human feces, stools and increase defecation, bowel movements. They are used to treat and prevent constipation. Laxatives vary as to how they work and the side effects they may have. C ...
,
antacids antacid tablets An antacid is a substance which neutralization (chemistry), neutralizes stomach acidity and is used to relieve heartburn, indigestion or an upset stomach. Some antacids have been used in the treatment of constipation Const ...
(e.g.,
milk of magnesia Magnesium hydroxide is the with the chemical formula Mg(OH)2. It occurs in nature as the mineral . It is a white solid with low solubility in water (). Magnesium hydroxide is a common component of s, such as milk of magnesia. Preparation Combini ...
), and to stabilize abnormal nerve excitation or blood vessel spasm in such conditions as
eclampsia Eclampsia is the onset of seizures An epileptic seizure, formally known as a seizure, is a period of symptom Signs and symptoms are the observed or detectable signs, and experienced symptoms of an illness, injury, or condition. A sign for ...
.


Characteristics


Physical properties

Elemental magnesium is a gray-white lightweight metal, two-thirds the density of aluminium. Magnesium has the lowest melting () and the lowest boiling point of all the alkaline earth metals. Pure polycrystalline magnesium is brittle and easily fractures along
shear band A shear band (or, more generally, a 'strain localization') is a narrow zone of intense shearing strain, usually of plastic Plastics are a wide range of synthetic polymers, synthetic or semi-synthetic materials that use polymers as a main ingredie ...

shear band
s. It becomes much more
ductile Ductility is a mechanical property commonly described as a material's amenability to drawing Drawing is a form of visual art in which an artist uses instruments to mark paper Paper is a thin sheet material produced by mechanically a ...

ductile
when alloyed with small amount of other metals, such as 1% aluminium. Ductility of polycrystalline magnesium can also be significantly improved by reducing its grain size to ca. 1 micron or less.


Chemical properties


General chemistry

It
tarnish Tarnish is a thin layer of corrosion Corrosion is a natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable form such as oxide of rutile. Ti(IV) centers are grey; oxygen centers are red. Notice that oxygen forms three bonds ...
es slightly when exposed to air, although, unlike the heavier
alkaline earth metals The alkaline earth metals are six chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure ...
, an oxygen-free environment is unnecessary for storage because magnesium is protected by a thin layer of oxide that is fairly impermeable and difficult to remove. Direct reaction of magnesium with air or oxygen at ambient pressure forms only the "normal" oxide MgO. However, this oxide may be combined with hydrogen peroxide to form Magnesium peroxide, MgO2, and at low temperature the peroxide may be further reacted with ozone to form magnesium superoxide Mg(O2)2. Magnesium reacts with water at room temperature, though it reacts much more slowly than calcium, a similar group 2 metal. When submerged in water,
hydrogen Hydrogen is the chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol H and atomic number 1. Hydrogen is the lightest element. At standard temperature and pressure, standard conditions hydrogen is a gas of diatomic molecules having the che ...

hydrogen
bubbles form slowly on the surface of the metal – though, if powdered, it reacts much more rapidly. The reaction occurs faster with higher temperatures (see safety precautions). Magnesium's reversible reaction with water can be harnessed to store energy and run a magnesium-based engine. Magnesium also reacts exothermically with most acids such as
hydrochloric acid Hydrochloric acid +(aq) Cl−(aq) or H3O+ Cl− also known as muriatic acid, is an aqueous solution An aqueous solution is a solution Solution may refer to: * Solution (chemistry) Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, upMaking a salin ...

hydrochloric acid
(HCl), producing the metal chloride and hydrogen gas, similar to the HCl reaction with aluminium, zinc, and many other metals.


Flammability

Magnesium is highly
flammable , Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , demonym = Germans, German , g ...
, especially when powdered or shaved into thin strips, though it is difficult to ignite in mass or bulk. Flame temperatures of magnesium and magnesium alloys can reach , although flame height above the burning metal is usually less than . Once ignited, such fires are difficult to extinguish, because combustion continues in
nitrogen Nitrogen is the chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science ...

nitrogen
(forming ),
carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide (chemical formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of s that constitute a particular or molecule, using symbols, numbers, and sometimes also other symbols, such as pare ...

carbon dioxide
(forming
magnesium oxide Magnesium oxide ( Mg O), or magnesia, is a white hygroscopic Hygroscopy is the phenomenon of attracting and holding water molecules via either absorption (chemistry), absorption or adsorption from the surrounding Natural environment, environme ...

magnesium oxide
and
carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a with the C and 6. It is lic and —making four s available to form s. It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Carbon makes up only about 0.025 percent of Earth's crust. Three occur naturally, ...

carbon
), and water (forming magnesium oxide and hydrogen, which also combusts due to heat in the presence of additional oxygen). This property was used in incendiary weapons during the
firebombing Firebombing is a bomb A bomb is an explosive weaponAn explosive weapon generally uses high explosive to project blast wave, blast and/or fragmentation (weaponry), fragmentation from a point of detonation. Explosive weapons may be subdivid ...
of cities in
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, where the only practical
civil defense Civil defense ( en, region=gb, civil defence) or civil protection is an effort to protect the citizens of a state (generally s) from s. It uses the principles of s: , , preparation, response, or and recovery. Programs of this sort were initiall ...
was to smother a burning flare under dry sand to exclude atmosphere from the combustion. Magnesium may also be used as an igniter for
thermite Thermite () is a pyrotechnic composition of powder metallurgy, metal powder and metal oxide. When ignited by heat or chemical reaction, thermite undergoes an exothermic redox, reduction-oxidation (redox) reaction. Most varieties are not explos ...

thermite
, a mixture of aluminium and iron oxide powder that ignites only at a very high temperature.


Organic chemistry

Organomagnesium compounds are widespread in
organic chemistry Organic chemistry is a branch of chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and th ...
. They are commonly found as
Grignard reagentsGrignard is a surname of French origin. People with that name include: * Ferre Grignard (193982), Belgian skiffle-singer ** ''Ferre Grignard'' (1972 album) * Georges Grignard (190577), French racing driver * Pierre Grignard (active 191820), Belg ...
. Magnesium can react with
haloalkanes The haloalkanes'' known as halogenoalkanes or alkyl halides) are alkane In , an alkane, or paraffin (a historical that also has ), is an . In other words, an alkane consists of and atoms arranged in a structure in which all the s are . ...
to give
Grignard reagentsGrignard is a surname of French origin. People with that name include: * Ferre Grignard (193982), Belgian skiffle-singer ** ''Ferre Grignard'' (1972 album) * Georges Grignard (190577), French racing driver * Pierre Grignard (active 191820), Belg ...
. Examples of
Grignard reagentsGrignard is a surname of French origin. People with that name include: * Ferre Grignard (193982), Belgian skiffle-singer ** ''Ferre Grignard'' (1972 album) * Georges Grignard (190577), French racing driver * Pierre Grignard (active 191820), Belg ...
are
phenylmagnesium bromide Phenylmagnesium bromide, with the simplified formula , is a magnesium Magnesium is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an elem ...

phenylmagnesium bromide
and
ethylmagnesium bromide Ethylmagnesium bromide is a Grignard reagent A Grignard reagent or Grignard compound is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of ...

ethylmagnesium bromide
. The
Grignard reagentsGrignard is a surname of French origin. People with that name include: * Ferre Grignard (193982), Belgian skiffle-singer ** ''Ferre Grignard'' (1972 album) * Georges Grignard (190577), French racing driver * Pierre Grignard (active 191820), Belg ...
function as a common
nucleophile In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a ...

nucleophile
, attacking the
electrophilic In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, mo ...

electrophilic
group such as the carbon atom that is present within the polar bond of a
carbonyl In organic chemistry Organic chemistry is a branch of chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, pro ...

carbonyl
group. A prominent organomagnesium reagent beyond Grignard reagents is
magnesium anthracene Magnesium anthracene is an organomagnesium compound that is almost invariably isolated as its adduct with three tetrahydrofuran (thf) ligands. With the formula Mg(C14H10)(thf)3, this air- and water-sensitive orange solid is obtained by heating a su ...
with magnesium forming a 1,4-bridge over the central ring. It is used as a source of highly active magnesium. The related
butadiene 1,3-Butadiene (/ˌbjuːtəˈdʌɪiːn/) is the organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds c ...

butadiene
-magnesium adduct serves as a source for the butadiene dianion. Magnesium in organic chemistry also appears as low valent magnesium compounds, primarily with the magnesium forming diatomic ions in the +1 oxidation state but more recently also with zero oxidation state or a mixture of +1 and zero states. Such compounds find synthetic application as reducing agents and sources of nucleophilic metal atoms.


Source of light

When burning in air, magnesium produces a brilliant-white light that includes strong ultraviolet wavelengths. Magnesium powder (
flash powder Flash powder is a pyrotechnic composition, a mixture of oxidizer and metallic fuel, which burns quickly and if confined produces a loud noise. It is widely used in theatrical pyrotechnics and fireworks (namely salutes, e.g., cherry bombs, M-80 ...
) was used for subject illumination in the early days of
photography Photography is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and int ...

photography
. Later, magnesium filament was used in electrically ignited single-use photography flashbulbs. Magnesium powder is used in
fireworks Fireworks are a class of low explosive An explosive (or explosive material) is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion An explosion is a rapid expansion in volume associat ...

fireworks
and marine
flare A flare, also sometimes called a fusée or bengala in some latin-speaking countries, is a type of pyrotechnic s used in the entertainment industry Pyrotechnics is the science and craft of creating such things as fireworks Fireworks ar ...

flare
s where a brilliant white light is required. It was also used for various theatrical effects, such as lightning, pistol flashes, and supernatural appearances.


Occurrence

Magnesium is the eighth-most-abundant element in the Earth's crust by mass and tied in seventh place with
iron Iron () is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behav ...

iron
in
molarity Molar concentration (also called molarity, amount concentration or substance concentration) is a measure of the concentration In chemistry, concentration is the abundance of a constituent divided by the total volume of a mixture. Several types ...
. It is found in large deposits of
magnesite Magnesite is a mineral with the chemical formula (magnesium carbonate). Iron, manganese, cobalt and nickel may occur as admixtures, but only in small amounts. Occurrence Magnesite occurs as veins in and an alteration product of ultramafic rocks ...

magnesite
,
dolomiteDolomite may refer to: *Dolomite (mineral) Dolomite () is an anhydrous A substance is anhydrous if it contains no water. Many processes in chemistry can be impeded by the presence of water; therefore, it is important that water-free reagents and ...
, and other
mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure form.John P. Rafferty, ed. (2 ...

mineral
s, and in mineral waters, where magnesium ion is soluble. Although magnesium is found in more than 60
mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure form.John P. Rafferty, ed. (2 ...

mineral
s, only
dolomiteDolomite may refer to: *Dolomite (mineral) Dolomite () is an anhydrous A substance is anhydrous if it contains no water. Many processes in chemistry can be impeded by the presence of water; therefore, it is important that water-free reagents and ...
,
magnesite Magnesite is a mineral with the chemical formula (magnesium carbonate). Iron, manganese, cobalt and nickel may occur as admixtures, but only in small amounts. Occurrence Magnesite occurs as veins in and an alteration product of ultramafic rocks ...

magnesite
,
brucite Brucite is the mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it i ...

brucite
,
carnallite Carnallite (also carnalite) is an evaporite An evaporite () is a water-soluble Solubility is the property of a solid, liquid or gaseous chemical substance called ''solution, solute'' to dissolve in a solid, liquid or gaseous solvent. The s ...
,
talc Talc, or talcum, is a clay mineral Clay minerals are , sometimes with variable amounts of , , s, s, and other s found on or near some s. Clay minerals form in the presence of water and have been important to life, and many theories of ...

talc
, and
olivine The mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure form.John P. ...

olivine
are of commercial importance. The
cation An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are u ...
is the second-most-abundant cation in seawater (about ⅛ the mass of sodium ions in a given sample), which makes seawater and sea salt attractive commercial sources for Mg. To extract the magnesium,
calcium hydroxide Calcium hydroxide (traditionally called slaked lime) is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula calcium, Ca(Hydroxide, OH)2. It is a colorless crystal or white powder and is produced when quicklime (calcium oxide) is mixed or slaking (ge ...

calcium hydroxide
is added to
seawater Seawater, or salt water, is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for al ...

seawater
to form
magnesium hydroxide Magnesium hydroxide is the inorganic compound with the chemical formula Mg(OH)2. It occurs in nature as the mineral brucite. It is a white solid with low solubility in water (). Magnesium hydroxide is a common component of antacids, such as milk ...
precipitate In aqueous solution, precipitation is the process of transforming a dissolved substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a de ...
. : + → + Magnesium hydroxide (
brucite Brucite is the mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it i ...

brucite
) is insoluble in water and can be filtered out and reacted with
hydrochloric acid Hydrochloric acid +(aq) Cl−(aq) or H3O+ Cl− also known as muriatic acid, is an aqueous solution An aqueous solution is a solution Solution may refer to: * Solution (chemistry) Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, upMaking a salin ...

hydrochloric acid
to produced concentrated
magnesium chloride Magnesium chloride is the name for the chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element ...

magnesium chloride
. : + 2 HCl → + 2 From magnesium chloride,
electrolysis In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in ...

electrolysis
produces magnesium.


Forms


Alloys

As of 2013, magnesium alloys consumption was less than one million tonnes per year, compared with 50 million tonnes of
aluminum alloy Aluminium alloys (or aluminum alloys; see American and British English spelling differences, spelling differences) are alloys in which aluminium (Al) is the predominant metal. The typical alloying elements are copper, magnesium, manganese, silico ...
s. Their use has been historically limited by the tendency of Mg alloys to corrode, creep at high temperatures, and combust.


Corrosion

The presence of
iron Iron () is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behav ...

iron
,
nickel Nickel is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

nickel
,
copper Copper is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

copper
, and
cobalt Cobalt is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical element ...

cobalt
strongly activates
corrosion Corrosion is a natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable form such as oxide An oxide () is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecu ...

corrosion
. In more than trace amounts, these metals precipitate as
intermetallic compound An intermetallic (also called an intermetallic compound, intermetallic alloy, ordered intermetallic alloy, and a long-range-ordered alloy) is a type of metallic alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Gree ...
s, and the precipitate locales function as active
cathodic A cathode is the electrode from which a conventional current leaves a polarized electrical device. This definition can be recalled by using the mnemonic ''CCD'' for ''Cathode Current Departs''. A conventional current describes the direction in which ...
sites that reduce water, causing the loss of magnesium. Controlling the quantity of these metals improves corrosion resistance. Sufficient
manganese Manganese is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical e ...

manganese
overcomes the corrosive effects of iron. This requires precise control over composition, increasing costs. Adding a cathodic poison captures atomic hydrogen within the structure of a metal. This prevents the formation of free hydrogen gas, an essential factor of corrosive chemical processes. The addition of about one in three hundred parts
arsenic Arsenic is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same num ...

arsenic
reduces its corrosion rate in a salt solution by a factor of nearly ten.


High-temperature creep and flammability

Research showed that magnesium's tendency to creep at high temperatures is eliminated by the addition of
scandium Scandium is a chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science tha ...

scandium
and
gadolinium Gadolinium is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Gd and atomic number 64. Gadolinium is a silvery-white metal when oxidation is removed. It is only slightly malleable and is a ductile rare-earth element. Gadolinium reacts with ...

gadolinium
. Flammability is greatly reduced by a small amount of
calcium Calcium is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

calcium
in the alloy. By using
rare-earth elements The rare-earth elements, also called the rare-earth metals or (in context) rare-earth oxides, or the lanthanide The lanthanide () or lanthanoid () series of chemical elements comprises the 15 metallic chemical element Image:Simple Period ...
, it may be possible to manufacture magnesium alloys with an ignition temperature higher than magnesium's
liquidus The liquidus temperature, TL or Tliq, specifies the temperature above which a material is completely liquid, and the maximum temperature at which crystal A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid Solid is one of the four fundamental ...
and in some cases potentially pushing it close to magnesium's boiling point.


Compounds

Magnesium forms a variety of compounds important to industry and biology, including
magnesium carbonate Magnesium carbonate, Mg CO3 (archaic name magnesia alba), is an inorganic salt that is a white solid. Several hydrate In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, com ...

magnesium carbonate
,
magnesium chloride Magnesium chloride is the name for the chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element ...

magnesium chloride
,
magnesium citrate Magnesium citrate is a magnesium preparation in Salt (chemistry), salt form with citric acid in a 1:1 ratio (1 magnesium atom per citrate molecule). The name "magnesium citrate" is ambiguous and sometimes may refer to other salts such as trimagn ...

magnesium citrate
,
magnesium hydroxide Magnesium hydroxide is the inorganic compound with the chemical formula Mg(OH)2. It occurs in nature as the mineral brucite. It is a white solid with low solubility in water (). Magnesium hydroxide is a common component of antacids, such as milk ...
(milk of magnesia),
magnesium oxide Magnesium oxide ( Mg O), or magnesia, is a white hygroscopic Hygroscopy is the phenomenon of attracting and holding water molecules via either absorption (chemistry), absorption or adsorption from the surrounding Natural environment, environme ...

magnesium oxide
,
magnesium sulfate Magnesium sulfate or magnesium sulphate (in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial ...

magnesium sulfate
, and magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (
Epsom salts Magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salt) or magnesium sulphate (in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of ...
).


Isotopes

Magnesium has three stable
isotope Isotopes are two or more types of atoms that have the same atomic number 300px, The Rutherford–Bohr model of the hydrogen atom () or a hydrogen-like ion (). In this model it is an essential feature that the photon energy (or frequency) of ...
s: , and . All are present in significant amounts in nature (see table of isotopes above). About 79% of Mg is . The isotope is radioactive and in the 1950s to 1970s was produced by several nuclear power plants for use in scientific experiments. This isotope has a relatively short half-life (21 hours) and its use was limited by shipping times. The nuclide has found application in isotopic
geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek ...

geology
, similar to that of aluminium. is a
radiogenic A radiogenic nuclide is a nuclide A nuclide (or nucleide, from nucleus ''Nucleus'' (plural nuclei) is a Latin word for the seed inside a fruit. It most often refers to: *Atomic nucleus, the very dense central region of an atom *Cell nucleus, a ...
daughter product of

, which has a
half-life Half-life (symbol ''t''1⁄2) is the time required for a quantity to reduce to half of its initial value. The term is commonly used in nuclear physics Nuclear physics is the field of physics Physics is the natural science that studies ...
of 717,000 years. Excessive quantities of stable have been observed in the Ca-Al-rich inclusions of some carbonaceous chondrite
meteorite A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from an object, such as a comet A comet is an icy, small Solar System body that, when passing close to the Sun, warms and begins to release gases, a process that is called outgassing. This produces ...
s. This anomalous abundance is attributed to the decay of its parent in the inclusions, and researchers conclude that such meteorites were formed in the
solar nebula The formation and evolution of the Solar System The Solar SystemCapitalization Capitalization ( North American English) or capitalisation ( British English) is writing a word with its first letter as a capital letter (uppercase letter) ...
before the had decayed. These are among the oldest objects in the
Solar System The Solar SystemCapitalization of the name varies. The International Astronomical Union, the authoritative body regarding astronomical nomenclature, specifies capitalizing the names of all individual astronomical objects but uses mixed "Sola ...

Solar System
and contain preserved information about its early history. It is conventional to plot / against an Al/Mg ratio. In an
isochron dating Isochron dating is a common technique of radiometric dating Radiometric dating, radioactive dating or radioisotope dating is a technique which is used to date materials such as rocks or carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a chemical ...
plot, the Al/Mg ratio plotted is/. The slope of the isochron has no age significance, but indicates the initial / ratio in the sample at the time when the systems were separated from a common reservoir.


Production

World production was approximately 1,100 kt in 2017, with the bulk being produced in China (930 kt) and Russia (60 kt). The United States was in the 20th century the major world supplier of this metal, supplying 45% of world production even as recently as 1995. Since the Chinese mastery of the Pidgeon process the US market share is at 7%, with a single US producer left: US Magnesium, a Renco Group company in
Utah Utah ( , ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. Utah is a landlocked U.S. state bordered to its east by Colorado, to its northeast by Wyoming, to its north by Idaho, to its so ...

Utah
born from now-defunct Magcorp. ; Pidgeon process China is almost completely reliant on the
silicothermicSilicothermic reactions are thermic chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Classically, chemical A chemical substance is a form of matter ha ...
Pidgeon process (the reduction of the oxide at high temperatures with silicon, often provided by a ferrosilicon alloy in which the iron is but a spectator in the reactions) to obtain the metal. The process can also be carried out with
carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a with the C and 6. It is lic and —making four s available to form s. It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Carbon makes up only about 0.025 percent of Earth's crust. Three occur naturally, ...

carbon
at approx 2300 °C: : + + → + : + → + ; Dow process In the United States, magnesium is obtained principally with the
Dow process The Dow process is the electrolytic method of bromine Bromine is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substan ...
, by
electrolysis In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in ...

electrolysis
of fused magnesium chloride from
brine Brine is a high-concentration solution of salt (NaCl) in water (H2O). In different contexts, ''brine'' may refer to salt solutions ranging from about 3.5% (a typical concentration of seawater, on the lower end of solutions used for brining food ...

brine
and
sea water Seawater, or salt water, is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all ...

sea water
. A saline solution containing ions is first treated with
lime Lime refers to: * Lime (fruit), a green citrus fruit * Lime (material), inorganic materials containing calcium, usually calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide * Lime (color), a color between yellow and green Lime may also refer to: Botany * Austra ...

lime
(calcium oxide) and the precipitated
magnesium hydroxide Magnesium hydroxide is the inorganic compound with the chemical formula Mg(OH)2. It occurs in nature as the mineral brucite. It is a white solid with low solubility in water (). Magnesium hydroxide is a common component of antacids, such as milk ...
is collected: : + + → + The hydroxide is then converted to a partial
hydrate In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in th ...
of
magnesium chloride Magnesium chloride is the name for the chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element ...

magnesium chloride
by treating the hydroxide with
hydrochloric acid Hydrochloric acid +(aq) Cl−(aq) or H3O+ Cl− also known as muriatic acid, is an aqueous solution An aqueous solution is a solution Solution may refer to: * Solution (chemistry) Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, upMaking a salin ...

hydrochloric acid
and heating of the product: : + 2 HCl → + 2 The salt is then electrolyzed in the molten state. At the
cathode A cathode is the from which a leaves a polarized electrical device. This definition can be recalled by using the ''CCD'' for ''Cathode Current Departs''. A conventional current describes the direction in which positive charges move. Electrons ha ...
, the ion is reduced by two
electron The electron is a subatomic particle (denoted by the symbol or ) whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge. Electrons belong to the first generation (particle physics), generation of the lepton particle family, and are general ...

electron
s to magnesium metal: : + 2 → Mg At the
anode An anode is an electrode An electrode is an electrical conductor used to make contact with a nonmetallic part of a circuit (e.g. a semiconductor A semiconductor material has an Electrical resistivity and conductivity, electrical conductiv ...

anode
, each pair of ions is oxidized to
chlorine Chlorine is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemica ...

chlorine
gas, releasing two electrons to complete the circuit: :2 → (g) + 2 ; YSZ process A new process, solid oxide membrane technology, involves the electrolytic reduction of MgO. At the cathode, ion is reduced by two
electron The electron is a subatomic particle (denoted by the symbol or ) whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge. Electrons belong to the first generation (particle physics), generation of the lepton particle family, and are general ...

electron
s to magnesium metal. The electrolyte is
yttria-stabilized zirconia Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is a ceramic A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and then firing a nonmetallic mineral, such as clay, at a high temperature. Common e ...
(YSZ). The anode is a liquid metal. At the YSZ/liquid metal anode is oxidized. A layer of graphite borders the liquid metal anode, and at this interface carbon and oxygen react to form carbon monoxide. When silver is used as the liquid metal anode, there is no reductant carbon or hydrogen needed, and only oxygen gas is evolved at the anode. It has been reported that this method provides a 40% reduction in cost per pound over the electrolytic reduction method.


History

The name magnesium originates from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
word for locations related to the tribe of the
Magnetes The Magnetes (Greek: ) were an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the follow ...
, either a district in
Thessaly Thessaly ( el, Θεσσαλία, translit=Thessalía, ; ancient Aeolic Greek#Thessalian, Thessalian: , ) is a traditional geographic regions of Greece, geographic and modern administrative regions of Greece, administrative region of Greece, co ...

Thessaly
called Magnesia or
Magnesia ad Sipylum#REDIRECT Magnesia ad Sipylum Magnesia Sipylum ( el, Mαγνησία ἡ πρὸς Σιπύλῳ or ; modern Manisa, Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and West ...
, now in Turkey. It is related to
magnetite Magnetite is a mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure for ...

magnetite
and
manganese Manganese is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical e ...

manganese
, which also originated from this area, and required differentiation as separate substances. See
manganese Manganese is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical e ...

manganese
for this history. In 1618, a farmer at Epsom in England attempted to give his cows water from a well there. The cows refused to drink because of the water's bitter taste, but the farmer noticed that the water seemed to heal scratches and rashes. The substance became known as
Epsom salts Magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salt) or magnesium sulphate (in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of ...

Epsom salts
and its fame spread. It was eventually recognized as hydrated magnesium sulfate, ·7. The metal itself was first isolated by
Sir Humphry Davy Sir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet (17 December 177829 May 1829) was a Cornish Cornish is the adjective and demonym associated with Cornwall, the most southwesterly part of the United Kingdom. It may refer to: * Cornish language, a Brittonic Southw ...

Sir Humphry Davy
in England in 1808. He used electrolysis on a mixture of magnesia and
mercuric oxide Mercury(II) oxide, also called mercuric oxide or simply mercury oxide, has a formula of HgO. It has a red or orange color. Mercury(II) oxide is a solid at room temperature and pressure. The mineral form montroydite is very rarely found. History ...
.
Antoine Bussy Antoine Alexandre Brutus Bussy (29 May 1794, in Marseille Marseille ( , , ; also spelled in English as Marseilles; oc, Marselha ) is the Prefectures in France, prefecture of the Bouches-du-Rhône Departments of France, department and Provence ...

Antoine Bussy
prepared it in coherent form in 1831. Davy's first suggestion for a name was magnium, but the name magnesium is now used.


Uses as a metal

Magnesium is the third-most-commonly-used structural metal, following
iron Iron () is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behav ...

iron
and aluminium. The main applications of magnesium are, in order: aluminium alloys,
die-casting Die casting is a metal casting process that is characterized by forcing molten Melting, or fusion, is a physical process that results in the phase transition of a chemical substance, substance from a solid to a liquid. This occurs when the ...
(alloyed with
zinc Zinc is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical element ...

zinc
), removing
sulfur Sulfur (in nontechnical British English: sulphur) is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: th ...

sulfur
in the production of iron and steel, and the production of
titanium Titanium is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical ele ...

titanium
in the
Kroll processThe Kroll process is a pyrometallurgical industrial process used to produce metallic titanium Titanium is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements ...

Kroll process
. Magnesium is used in lightweight materials and alloys. For example, when infused with silicon carbide nanoparticles, it has extremely high specific strength. Historically, magnesium was one of the main aerospace construction metals and was used for German military aircraft as early as World War I and extensively for German aircraft in World War II. The Germans coined the name " Elektron" for magnesium alloy, a term which is still used today. In the commercial aerospace industry, magnesium was generally restricted to engine-related components, due to fire and corrosion hazards. Magnesium alloy use in aerospace is increasing in the 21st century, driven by the importance of fuel economy. Development and testing of new magnesium alloys continues, notably Elektron 21, which (in test) has proved suitable for aerospace engine, internal, and airframe components. The European Community runs three R&D magnesium projects in the Aerospace priority of the FP6 Program. Recent developments in metallurgy and manufacturing have allowed for the potential for magnesium alloys to act as replacements for aluminium and steel alloys in certain applications. In the form of thin ribbons, magnesium is used to Solvent#Desiccant, purify solvents; for example, preparing super-dry ethanol.


Aircraft

* Wright Aeronautical used a magnesium crankcase in the WWII-era Wright R-3350 Duplex Cyclone aviation engine. This presented a serious problem for the earliest models of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber when an in-flight engine fire ignited the engine crankcase. The resulting combustion was as hot as 5,600 °F (3,100 °C) and could sever the wing spar from the fuselage.


Automotive

* Mercedes-Benz used the alloy Elektron in the bodywork of an early model Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR; these cars competed in the 1955 World Sportscar Championship including a win at the 1955 Mille Miglia, Mille Miglia, and at 24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans where one was involved in the 1955 Le Mans disaster when spectators were showered with burning fragments of elektron. * Porsche used magnesium alloy frames in the Porsche 917, 917/053 that won Le Mans in 1971, and continues to use magnesium alloys for its engine blocks due to the weight advantage. * Volkswagen Group has used magnesium in its engine components for many years. * Mitsubishi Motors uses magnesium for its paddle shifters. * BMW used magnesium alloy blocks in their BMW N52, N52 engine, including an aluminium alloy insert for the cylinder walls and cooling jackets surrounded by a high-temperature magnesium alloy AJ62A. The engine was used worldwide between 2005 and 2011 in various 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 series models; as well as the Z4, X1, X3, and X5. * Chevrolet used the magnesium alloy AE44 in the 2006 Corvette Corvette C6, Z06. Both AJ62A and AE44 are recent developments in high-temperature low- creep magnesium alloys. The general strategy for such alloys is to form intermetallic precipitates at the crystallite, grain boundaries, for example by adding mischmetal or
calcium Calcium is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

calcium
. New alloy development and lower costs that make magnesium competitive with aluminium will increase the number of automotive applications.


Electronics

Because of low density and good mechanical and electrical properties, magnesium is used for manufacturing of mobile phones, laptop and tablet computers, cameras, and other electronic components. It was used as a premium feature because of its light weight in some 2020 laptops.


Other

Magnesium, being readily available and relatively nontoxic, has a variety of uses: * Magnesium is flammable, burning at a temperature of approximately , and the autoignition temperature of magnesium ribbon is approximately . It produces intense, bright, white light when it burns. Magnesium's high combustion temperature makes it a useful tool for starting emergency fires. Other uses include flash
photography Photography is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and int ...

photography
, flares, pyrotechnics, fireworks sparklers, and trick birthday candles. Magnesium is also often used to ignite thermite or other materials that require a high ignition temperature. * In the form of turnings or ribbons, to prepare Grignard reagents, which are useful in organic synthesis. * As an additive agent in conventional propellants and the production of Ductile iron, nodular graphite in cast iron. * As a reducing agent to separate uranium and other metals from their
salts In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during ...
. * As a Sacrificial anode, sacrificial (galvanic) anode to protect boats, underground tanks, pipelines, buried structures, and water heaters. * Alloyed with zinc to produce the zinc sheet used in photoengraving plates in the printing industry, Dry cell, dry-cell battery walls, and Flashing (weatherproofing), roofing. * As a metal, this element's principal use is as an alloying additive to aluminium with these aluminium-magnesium alloys being used mainly for beverage cans, sports equipment such as golf clubs, fishing reels, and archery bows and arrows. * Specialty, high-grade car wheels of magnesium alloy are called "Magnesium alloy wheel, mag wheels", although the term is often misapplied to aluminium wheels. Many car and aircraft manufacturers have made engine and body parts from magnesium. * Magnesium battery, Magnesium batteries have been commercialized as primary battery, primary batteries, and are an active topic of research for Rechargeable battery, rechargeable batteries.


Safety precautions

Magnesium metal and its alloys can be explosive hazards; they are highly flammable in their pure form when molten or in powder or ribbon form. Burning or molten magnesium reacts violently with water. When working with powdered magnesium, safety glasses with eye protection and UV filters (such as welders use) are employed because burning magnesium produces ultraviolet light that can permanently damage the retina of a human eye. Magnesium is capable of reducing water (molecule), water and releasing highly flammable
hydrogen Hydrogen is the chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol H and atomic number 1. Hydrogen is the lightest element. At standard temperature and pressure, standard conditions hydrogen is a gas of diatomic molecules having the che ...

hydrogen
gas: :Mg (s) + 2 (l) → Magnesium hydroxide, (s) + (g) Therefore, water cannot extinguish magnesium fires. The hydrogen gas produced intensifies the fire. Dry sand is an effective smothering agent, but only on relatively level and flat surfaces. Magnesium reacts with
carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide (chemical formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of s that constitute a particular or molecule, using symbols, numbers, and sometimes also other symbols, such as pare ...

carbon dioxide
exothermically to form
magnesium oxide Magnesium oxide ( Mg O), or magnesia, is a white hygroscopic Hygroscopy is the phenomenon of attracting and holding water molecules via either absorption (chemistry), absorption or adsorption from the surrounding Natural environment, environme ...

magnesium oxide
and
carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a with the C and 6. It is lic and —making four s available to form s. It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Carbon makes up only about 0.025 percent of Earth's crust. Three occur naturally, ...

carbon
: :2 Mg + → 2 MgO + C (s) Hence, carbon dioxide fuels rather than extinguishes magnesium fires. Burning magnesium can be quenched by using a Fire extinguisher#Class D dry powder and other agents for metal fires, Class D dry chemical fire extinguisher, or by covering the fire with sand or magnesium foundry flux to remove its air source.


Useful compounds

Magnesium compounds, primarily
magnesium oxide Magnesium oxide ( Mg O), or magnesia, is a white hygroscopic Hygroscopy is the phenomenon of attracting and holding water molecules via either absorption (chemistry), absorption or adsorption from the surrounding Natural environment, environme ...

magnesium oxide
(MgO), are used as a refractory material in Metallurgical furnace, furnace linings for producing
iron Iron () is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behav ...

iron
, steel, nonferrous metals, glass, and cement. Magnesium oxide and other magnesium compounds are also used in the agricultural, chemical, and construction industries. Magnesium oxide from calcination is used as an electrical insulator in Mineral-insulated copper-clad cable, fire-resistant cables. Magnesium hydride is under investigation as a way to store hydrogen. Magnesium reacted with an alkyl halide gives a Grignard reaction, Grignard reagent, which is a very useful tool for preparing alcohols. Magnesium salts are included in various foods, fertilizers (magnesium is a component of chlorophyll), and culture medium, microbe culture media. Magnesium sulfite is used in the manufacture of paper (sulfite process). Magnesium phosphate is used to fireproof wood used in construction. Magnesium hexafluorosilicate is used for moth-proofing textiles.


Biological roles


Mechanism of action

The important interaction between phosphate and magnesium ions makes magnesium essential to the basic nucleic acid chemistry of all cells of all known living organisms. More than 300 enzymes require magnesium ions for their catalytic action, including all enzymes using or synthesizing
ATP ATP may refer to: Companies and organizations * Association of Tennis Professionals * American Technical Publishers * ', a Danish pension * Armenia Tree Project * Association for Transpersonal Psychology * ATP architects engineers office * ATP ...

ATP
and those that use other nucleotides to synthesize
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral gro ...

DNA
and
RNA Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a polymer A polymer (; Greek ''wikt:poly-, poly-'', "many" + ''wikt:-mer, -mer'', "part") is a Chemical substance, substance or material consisting of very large molecules, or macromolecules, composed of many Re ...

RNA
. The ATP molecule is normally found in a Chelation, chelate with a magnesium ion.


Nutrition


Diet

Spices, nuts, cereals, cocoa solids, cocoa and vegetables are rich sources of magnesium. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach are also rich in magnesium. Beverages rich in magnesium are coffee, tea, and cocoa.


Dietary recommendations

In the United Kingdom, UK, the Dietary Reference Intake, recommended daily values for magnesium are 300 mg for men and 270 mg for women. In the U.S. the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are 400 mg for men ages 19–30 and 420 mg for older; for women 310 mg for ages 19–30 and 320 mg for older.


Supplementation

Numerous Magnesium (pharmaceutical preparation), pharmaceutical preparations of magnesium and dietary supplements are available. In two human trials magnesium oxide, one of the most common forms in magnesium dietary supplements because of its high magnesium content per weight, was less bioavailable than
magnesium citrate Magnesium citrate is a magnesium preparation in Salt (chemistry), salt form with citric acid in a 1:1 ratio (1 magnesium atom per citrate molecule). The name "magnesium citrate" is ambiguous and sometimes may refer to other salts such as trimagn ...

magnesium citrate
, chloride, lactate or aspartate.


Metabolism

An adult body has 22–26 grams of magnesium, with 60% in the skeleton, 39% intracellular (20% in skeletal muscle), and 1% extracellular. Serum levels are typically 0.7–1.0 mmol/L or 1.8–2.4 mEq/L. Serum magnesium levels may be normal even when intracellular magnesium is deficient. The mechanisms for maintaining the magnesium level in the serum are varying Gastrointestinal tract, gastrointestinal absorption and renal excretion. Intracellular magnesium is correlated with intracellular potassium. Increased magnesium lowers
calcium Calcium is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

calcium
and can either prevent hypercalcemia or cause hypocalcemia depending on the initial level. Both low and high protein intake conditions inhibit magnesium absorption, as does the amount of phosphate, phytate, and fat in the gut. Unabsorbed dietary magnesium is excreted in feces; absorbed magnesium is excreted in urine and sweat.


Detection in serum and plasma

Magnesium status may be assessed by measuring serum and erythrocyte magnesium concentrations coupled with Urinary system, urinary and Feces, fecal magnesium content, but intravenous magnesium loading tests are more accurate and practical. A retention of 20% or more of the injected amount indicates deficiency. As of 2004, no biomarker has been established for magnesium. Magnesium concentrations in plasma or serum may be monitored for efficacy and safety in those receiving the drug Therapy, therapeutically, to confirm the diagnosis in potential poisoning victims, or to assist in the Forensic science, forensic investigation in a case of fatal overdose. The newborn children of mothers who received Parenteral nutrition, parenteral magnesium sulfate during labor may exhibit toxicity with normal serum magnesium levels.


Deficiency

Low plasma magnesium (hypomagnesemia) is common: it is found in 2.5–15% of the general population. From 2005 to 2006, 48 percent of the United States population consumed less magnesium than recommended in the Dietary Reference Intake. Other causes are increased renal or gastrointestinal loss, an increased intracellular shift, and proton-pump inhibitor antacid therapy. Most are asymptomatic, but symptoms referable to Neuromuscular medicine, neuromuscular, Circulatory system, cardiovascular, and metabolic dysfunction may occur. Alcoholism is often associated with magnesium deficiency. Chronically low serum magnesium levels are associated with metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus type 2, fasciculation, and hypertension.


Therapy

* Intravenous magnesium is recommended by the ACC/AHA/ESC 2006 Guidelines for Management of Patients With Ventricular Arrhythmias and the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death for patients with ventricular Heart arrhythmia, arrhythmia associated with torsades de pointes who present with long QT syndrome; and for the treatment of patients with digoxin induced arrhythmias. * Magnesium sulfate – intravenous – is used for the management of pre-eclampsia and
eclampsia Eclampsia is the onset of seizures An epileptic seizure, formally known as a seizure, is a period of symptom Signs and symptoms are the observed or detectable signs, and experienced symptoms of an illness, injury, or condition. A sign for ...
. * Hypomagnesemia, including that caused by alcoholism, is reversible by oral or parenteral magnesium administration depending on the degree of deficiency. * There is limited evidence that magnesium supplementation may play a role in the prevention and treatment of migraine. Sorted by type of magnesium salt, other therapeutic applications include: * Magnesium sulfate, as the hydrate, heptahydrate called Epsom salts, is used as bath salts, a laxative, and a highly soluble fertilizer. * Magnesium hydroxide, suspended in water, is used in
milk of magnesia Magnesium hydroxide is the with the chemical formula Mg(OH)2. It occurs in nature as the mineral . It is a white solid with low solubility in water (). Magnesium hydroxide is a common component of s, such as milk of magnesia. Preparation Combini ...
antacids and laxatives. * Magnesium chloride, magnesium oxide, oxide, magnesium gluconate, gluconate, magnesium malate, malate, magnesium orotate, orotate, glycinate, magnesium ascorbate, ascorbate and magnesium citrate, citrate are all used as oral magnesium supplements. * Borate, Magnesium borate, magnesium salicylate, and
magnesium sulfate Magnesium sulfate or magnesium sulphate (in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial ...

magnesium sulfate
are used as antiseptics. * Magnesium bromide is used as a mild sedative (this action is due to the bromide, not the magnesium). * Magnesium stearate is a slightly fire, flammable white Powder (substance), powder with lubricant, lubricating properties. In pharmacology, pharmaceutical technology, it is used in pharmacological manufacture to prevent Tablet (pharmacy), tablets from sticking to the equipment while compressing the ingredients into tablet form. * Magnesium carbonate powder is used by athletes such as gymnastics, gymnasts, Olympic weightlifting, weightlifters, and climbing, climbers to eliminate palm sweat, prevent sticking, and improve the grip on gymnastic apparatus, lifting bars, and climbing rocks.


Overdose

Overdose from dietary sources alone is unlikely because excess magnesium in the blood is promptly filtered by the kidneys, and overdose is more likely in the presence of impaired renal function. In spite of this, Megavitamin therapy, megadose therapy has caused death in a young child, and severe hypermagnesemia in a woman and a young girl who had healthy kidneys. The most common symptoms of overdose are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; other symptoms include hypotension, confusion, slowed heart and Respiratory system, respiratory rates, deficiencies of other minerals, coma, Cardiac arrhythmia/bradycardia, cardiac arrhythmia, and death from cardiac arrest.


Function in plants

Plants require magnesium to synthesize chlorophyll, essential for photosynthesis. Magnesium in the center of the porphyrin ring in chlorophyll functions in a manner similar to the iron in the center of the porphyrin ring in heme. Magnesium deficiency (plants), Magnesium deficiency in plants causes late-season yellowing between leaf veins, especially in older leaves, and can be corrected by either applying epsom salts (which is rapidly Leaching (chemical science), leached), or crushed Dolomite (mineral), dolomitic limestone, to the soil.


See also

* List of countries by magnesium production * Magnesium oil


References


Cited sources

*


External links


Magnesium
at ''The Periodic Table of Videos'' (University of Nottingham)
Chemistry in its element podcast
(MP3) from the Royal Society of Chemistry's Chemistry World
Magnesium
* {{Authority control Magnesium, Chemical elements Alkaline earth metals Dietary minerals Food additives Pyrotechnic fuels Reducing agents Chemical elements with hexagonal close-packed structure