Magnesium

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Magnesium,  12Mg
CSIRO ScienceImage 2893 Crystalised magnesium.jpg
Magnesium
Pronunciation /mæɡˈnziəm/ (mag-NEE-zee-əm)
Appearanceshiny grey solid
Standard atomic weight Ar, std(Mg)[24.304, 24.307]conventional: 24.305
Magnesium in the periodic table
Hydrogen Helium
Lithium Beryllium Boron Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon
Sodium Magnesium Aluminium Silicon Phosphorus Sulfur Chlorine Argon
Potassium Calcium Scandium Titanium Vanadium Chromium Manganese Iron Cobalt Nickel Copper Zinc Gallium Germanium Arsenic Selenium Bromine Krypton
Rubidium Strontium Yttrium Zirconium Niobium Molybdenum Technetium Ruthenium Rhodium Palladium Silver Cadmium Indium Tin Antimony Tellurium Iodine Xenon
Caesium Barium Lanthanum Cerium Praseodymium Neodymium Promethium Samarium Europium Gadolinium Terbium Dysprosium Holmium Erbium Thulium Ytterbium Lutetium Hafnium Tantalum Tungsten Rhenium Osmium Iridium Platinum Gold Mercury (element) Thallium Lead Bismuth Polonium Astatine Radon
Francium Radium Actinium Thorium Protactinium Uranium Neptunium Plutonium Americium Curium Berkelium Californium Einsteinium Fermium Mendelevium Nobelium Lawrencium Rutherfordium Dubnium Seaborgium Bohrium Hassium Meitnerium Darmstadtium Roentgenium Copernicium Nihonium Flerovium Moscovium Livermorium Tennessine Oganesson
Be

Mg

Ca
sodiummagnesiumaluminium
Atomic number (Z)12
Group group 2 (alkaline earth metals)
Period period 3
Block s-block
Element category   Alkaline earth metal
Electron configuration [ Ne ] 3s2
Electrons per shell
2, 8, 2
Physical properties
Phase at  STP solid
Melting point 923  K (650 °C,1202 °F)
Boiling point 1363 K(1091 °C,1994 °F)
Density (near r.t.)1.738 g/cm3
when liquid (at m.p.)1.584 g/cm3
Heat of fusion 8.48  kJ/mol
Heat of vaporization 128 kJ/mol
Molar heat capacity 24.869 [1]  J/(mol·K)
Vapor pressure
P (Pa)1101001 k10 k100 k
at T (K)70177386197111321361
Atomic properties
Oxidation states +1, [2] +2 (a strongly basic oxide)
Electronegativity Pauling scale: 1.31
Ionization energies
  • 1st: 737.7 kJ/mol
  • 2nd: 1450.7 kJ/mol
  • 3rd: 7732.7 kJ/mol
  • (more)
Atomic radius empirical:160  pm
Covalent radius 141±7 pm
Van der Waals radius 173 pm
Color lines in a spectral range Magnesium spectrum visible.png
Color lines in a spectral range
Spectral lines of magnesium
Other properties
Natural occurrence primordial
Crystal structure hexagonal close-packed (hcp)
Hexagonal close packed.svg
Speed of sound thin rod4940 m/s(at r.t.)(annealed)
Thermal expansion 24.8 [3]  µm/(m·K)(at 25 °C)
Thermal conductivity 156 [4]  W/(m·K)
Electrical resistivity 43.9 [5]  nΩ·m(at 20 °C)
Magnetic ordering paramagnetic
Magnetic susceptibility +13.1·10−6 cm3/mol(298 K) [6]
Young's modulus 45 GPa
Shear modulus 17 GPa
Bulk modulus 35.4 [7]  GPa
Poisson ratio 0.290
Mohs hardness 1–2.5
Brinell hardness 44–260 MPa
CAS Number 7439-95-4
History
Namingafter Magnesia, Greece [8]
Discovery Joseph Black (1755 [8] )
First isolation Humphry Davy (1808 [8] )
Main isotopes of magnesium
Iso­tope Abun­dance Half-life (t1/2) Decay mode Pro­duct
24Mg79.0% stable
25Mg10.0%stable
26Mg11.0%stable
| references

Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol  Mg and atomic number  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) of the periodic table: all group 2 elements have the same electron configuration in the outer electron shell and a similar crystal structure.

Chemical element a species of atoms having the same number of protons in the atomic nucleus

A chemical element is a species of atom having the same number of protons in their atomic nuclei. For example, the atomic number of oxygen is 8, so the element oxygen consists of all atoms which have 8 protons.

Symbol (chemistry) an arbitrary or conventional sign used in chemical science to represent a chemical element

In chemistry, a symbol is an abbreviation for a chemical element. Symbols for chemical elements normally consist of one or two letters from the Latin alphabet and are written with the first letter capitalised.

Atomic number number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom

The atomic number or proton number of a chemical element is the number of protons found in the nucleus of every atom of that element. The atomic number uniquely identifies a chemical element. It is identical to the charge number of the nucleus. In an uncharged atom, the atomic number is also equal to the number of electrons.

Contents

Magnesium is the ninth most abundant element in the universe. [9] [10] It is produced in large, aging stars from the sequential addition of three helium nuclei to a carbon nucleus. When such stars explode as supernovas, much of the magnesium is expelled into the interstellar medium where it may recycle into new star systems. Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust [11] and the fourth most common element in the Earth (after iron, oxygen and silicon), making up 13% of the planet's mass and a large fraction of the planet's mantle. It is the third most abundant element dissolved in seawater, after sodium and chlorine. [12]

Star Astronomical object

A star is an astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma held together by its own gravity. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun. Many other stars are visible to the naked eye from Earth during the night, appearing as a multitude of fixed luminous points in the sky due to their immense distance from Earth. Historically, the most prominent stars were grouped into constellations and asterisms, the brightest of which gained proper names. Astronomers have assembled star catalogues that identify the known stars and provide standardized stellar designations. The observable Universe contains an estimated 1×1024 stars, but most are invisible to the naked eye from Earth, including all stars outside our galaxy, the Milky Way.

Carbon Chemical element with atomic number 6

Carbon is a chemical element with the symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds. It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Three isotopes occur naturally, 12C and 13C being stable, while 14C is a radionuclide, decaying with a half-life of about 5,730 years. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity.

Supernova Star exploding at the end of its stellar evolution

A supernova is a powerful and luminous stellar explosion. This transient astronomical event occurs during the last evolutionary stages of a massive star or when a white dwarf is triggered into runaway nuclear fusion. The original object, called the progenitor, either collapses to a neutron star or black hole, or it is completely destroyed. The peak optical luminosity of a supernova can be comparable to that of an entire galaxy, before fading over several weeks or months.

Magnesium occurs naturally only in combination with other elements, where it invariably has a +2 oxidation state. 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 of magnesium salts obtained from brine, and is used primarily as a component in aluminium-magnesium alloys, sometimes called magnalium or magnelium . Magnesium is less dense than aluminium, and the alloy is prized for its combination of lightness and strength.

The oxidation state, sometimes referred to as oxidation number, describes the degree of oxidation of an atom in a chemical compound. Conceptually, the oxidation state, which may be positive, negative or zero, is the hypothetical charge that an atom would have if all bonds to atoms of different elements were 100% ionic, with no covalent component. This is never exactly true for real bonds.

Passivation, in physical chemistry and engineering, refers to a material becoming "passive," that is, less affected or corroded by the environment of future use. Passivation involves creation of an outer layer of shield material that is applied as a microcoating, created by chemical reaction with the base material, or allowed to build from spontaneous oxidation in the air. As a technique, passivation is the use of a light coat of a protective material, such as metal oxide, to create a shell against corrosion. Passivation can occur only in certain conditions, and is used in microelectronics to enhance silicon. The technique of passivation strengthens and preserves the appearance of metallics. In electrochemical treatment of water, passivation reduces the effectiveness of the treatment by increasing the circuit resistance, and active measures are typically used to overcome this effect, the most common being polarity reversal, which results in limited rejection of the fouling layer. Other proprietary systems to avoid electrode passivation, several discussed below, are the subject of ongoing research and development.

Electrolysis technique that uses a direct electric current to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reaction

In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a technique that uses a direct electric current (DC) to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reaction. Electrolysis is commercially important as a stage in the separation of elements from naturally occurring sources such as ores using an electrolytic cell. The voltage that is needed for electrolysis to occur is called the decomposition potential.

Magnesium is the eleventh most abundant element by mass in the human body and is essential to all cells and some 300 enzymes. [13] Magnesium ions interact with polyphosphate compounds such as ATP, DNA, and RNA. Hundreds of enzymes require magnesium ions to function. Magnesium compounds are used medicinally as common laxatives, antacids (e.g., milk of magnesia), and to stabilize abnormal nerve excitation or blood vessel spasm in such conditions as eclampsia. [13]

Human body The entire structure of a human being

The human body is the structure of a human being. It is composed of many different types of cells that together create tissues and subsequently organ systems. They ensure homeostasis and the viability of the human body.

Polyphosphates are salts or esters of polymeric oxyanions formed from tetrahedral PO4 (phosphate) structural units linked together by sharing oxygen atoms. Polyphosphates can adopt linear or a cyclic ring structures. In biology, the polyphosphate esters ADP and ATP are involved in energy storage. A variety of polyphosphates find application in mineral sequestration in municipal waters, generally being present at 1 to 5 ppm. GTP, CTP, and UTP are also nucleotides important in the protein synthesis, lipid synthesis, and carbohydrate metabolism, respectively.

Adenosine triphosphate chemical compound

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a complex organic chemical that provides energy to drive many processes in living cells, e.g. muscle contraction, nerve impulse propagation, and chemical synthesis. Found in all forms of life, ATP is often referred to as the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer. When consumed in metabolic processes, it converts either to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) or to adenosine monophosphate (AMP). Other processes regenerate ATP so that the human body recycles its own body weight equivalent in ATP each day. It is also a precursor to DNA and RNA, and is used as a coenzyme.

Characteristics

Physical properties

Elemental magnesium is a gray-white lightweight metal, two-thirds the density of aluminium. Magnesium has the lowest melting (923 K (1,202 °F)) and the lowest boiling point 1,363 K (1,994 °F) of all the alkaline earth metals.

Pure polycrystalline magnesium is brittle and easily fractures along shear bands. It becomes much more ductile when alloyed with small amount of other metals, such as 1% aluminium. [14] Ductility of polycrystalline magnesium can also be significantly improved by reducing its grain size to ca. 1 micron or less. [15]

Shear band

A shear band is a narrow zone of intense shearing strain, usually of plastic nature, developing during severe deformation of ductile materials. As an example, a soil specimen is shown in Fig. 1, after an axialsymmetric compression test. Initially the sample was cylindrical in shape and, since symmetry was tried to be preserved during the test, the cylindrical shape was maintained for a while during the test and the deformation was homogeneous, but at extreme loading two X-shaped shear bands had formed and the subsequent deformation was strongly localized.

Ductility Material ability to undergo significant plastic deformation before rupture

Ductility is a measure of a material's ability to undergo significant plastic deformation before rupture, which may be expressed as percent elongation or percent area reduction from a tensile test. According to Shigley's Mechanical Engineering Design significant denotes about 5.0 percent elongation. See also Eq. 2–12, p. 50 for definitions of percent elongation and percent area reduction. Ductility is often characterized by a material's ability to be stretched into a wire.

Chemical properties

General chemistry

It tarnishes slightly when exposed to air, although, unlike the heavier alkaline earth metals, 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.

Tarnish

Tarnish is a thin layer of corrosion that forms over copper, brass, silver, aluminum, magnesium, neodymium and other similar metals as their outermost layer undergoes a chemical reaction. Tarnish does not always result from the sole effects of oxygen in the air. For example, silver needs hydrogen sulfide to tarnish, although it may tarnish with oxygen over time. It often appears as a dull, gray or black film or coating over metal. Tarnish is a surface phenomenon that is self-limiting, unlike rust. Only the top few layers of the metal react, and the layer of tarnish seals and protects the underlying layers from reacting.

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 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 (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, 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 3,100 °C (5,610 °F), [16] although flame height above the burning metal is usually less than 300 mm (12 in). [17] Once ignited, such fires are difficult to extinguish, because combustion continues in nitrogen (forming magnesium nitride), carbon dioxide (forming magnesium oxide and carbon), and water (forming magnesium oxide and hydrogen). This property was used in incendiary weapons during the firebombing of cities in World War II, where the only practical civil defense 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, 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. They are commonly found as Grignard reagents. Magnesium can react with haloalkanes to give Grignard reagents. Examples of Grignard reagents are phenylmagnesium bromide and ethylmagnesium bromide. The Grignard reagents function as a common nucleophile, attacking the electrophilic group such as the carbon atom that is present within the polar bond of a carbonyl group.

A prominent organomagnesium reagent beyond Grignard reagents is magnesium anthracene with magnesium forming a 1,4-bridge over the central ring. It is used as a source of highly active magnesium. The related butadiene-magnesium adduct serves as a source for the butadiene dianion.

Source of light

When burning in air, magnesium produces a brilliant-white light that includes strong ultraviolet wavelengths. Magnesium powder (flash powder) was used for subject illumination in the early days of photography. [18] [19] Later, magnesium filament was used in electrically ignited single-use photography flashbulbs. Magnesium powder is used in fireworks and marine flares where a brilliant white light is required. It was also used for various theatrical effects, [20] such as lightning, [21] pistol flashes, [22] and supernatural appearances. [23]

Occurrence

Magnesium is the eighth-most-abundant element in the Earth's crust by mass and tied in seventh place with iron in molarity. [11] It is found in large deposits of magnesite, dolomite, and other minerals, and in mineral waters, where magnesium ion is soluble.

Although magnesium is found in more than 60 minerals, only dolomite, magnesite, brucite, carnallite, talc, and olivine are of commercial importance.

The Mg2+
cation 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 is added to seawater to form magnesium hydroxide precipitate.

MgCl
2
+ Ca(OH)
2
Mg(OH)
2
+ CaCl
2

Magnesium hydroxide (brucite) is insoluble in water and can be filtered out and reacted with hydrochloric acid to produced concentrated magnesium chloride.

Mg(OH)
2
+ 2 HCl → MgCl
2
+ 2 H
2
O

From magnesium chloride, electrolysis produces magnesium.

Forms

Alloys

Magnesium is brittle, and fractures along shear bands when its thickness is reduced by only 10% by cold rolling (top). However, after alloying Mg with 1% Al and 0.1% Ca, its thickness could be reduced by 54% using the same process (bottom). Cold rolling of Mg and Mg-1Al-0.1Ca.jpg
Magnesium is brittle, and fractures along shear bands when its thickness is reduced by only 10% by cold rolling (top). However, after alloying Mg with 1% Al and 0.1% Ca, its thickness could be reduced by 54% using the same process (bottom).

As of 2013, magnesium alloys consumption was less than one million tonnes per year, compared with 50 million tonnes of aluminum alloys. Their use has been historically limited by the tendency of Mg alloys to corrode, creep at high temperatures, and combust. [24]

Corrosion

The presence of iron, nickel, copper, and cobalt strongly activates corrosion. Greater than a very small percentage, these metals precipitate as intermetallic compounds, and the precipitate locales function as active cathodic sites that reduce water, causing the loss of magnesium. [24] Controlling the quantity of these metals improves corrosion resistance. Sufficient manganese overcomes the corrosive effects of iron. This requires precise control over composition, increasing costs. [24] 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 reduces its corrosion rate in a salt solution by a factor of nearly ten. [24] [25]

High-temperature creep and flammability

Research showed that magnesium's tendency to creep at high temperatures is eliminated by the addition of scandium and gadolinium. Flammability is greatly reduced by a small amount of calcium in the alloy. [24]

Compounds

Magnesium forms a variety of compounds important to industry and biology, including magnesium carbonate, magnesium chloride, magnesium citrate, magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia), magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate, and magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (Epsom salts).

Isotopes

Magnesium has three stable isotopes: 24
Mg
, 25
Mg
and 26
Mg
. All are present in significant amounts (see table of isotopes above). About 79% of Mg is 24
Mg
. The isotope 28
Mg
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 26
Mg
has found application in isotopic geology, similar to that of aluminium. 26
Mg
is a radiogenic daughter product of 26
Al
, which has a half-life of 717,000 years. Excessive quantities of stable 26
Mg
have been observed in the Ca-Al-rich inclusions of some carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. This anomalous abundance is attributed to the decay of its parent 26
Al
in the inclusions, and researchers conclude that such meteorites were formed in the solar nebula before the 26
Al
had decayed. These are among the oldest objects in the solar system and contain preserved information about its early history.

It is conventional to plot 26
Mg
/24
Mg
against an Al/Mg ratio. In an isochron dating plot, the Al/Mg ratio plotted is27
Al
/24
Mg
. The slope of the isochron has no age significance, but indicates the initial 26
Al
/27
Al
ratio in the sample at the time when the systems were separated from a common reservoir.

Production

Magnesium sheets and ingots Mg sheets and ingots.jpg
Magnesium sheets and ingots

World production was approximately 1,100 kt in 2017, with the bulk being produced in China (930 kt) and Russia (60 kt). [26] China is almost completely reliant on the silicothermic 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. [27] The process can also be carried out with carbon at approx 2300 °C:

2MgO
(s)
+ Si
(s)
+ 2CaO
(s)
2Mg
(g)
+ Ca
2
SiO
4(s)
MgO
(s)
+ C
(s)
Mg
(g)
+ CO
(g)

In the United States, magnesium is obtained principally with the Dow process, by electrolysis of fused magnesium chloride from brine and sea water. A saline solution containing Mg2+
ions is first treated with lime (calcium oxide) and the precipitated magnesium hydroxide is collected:

Mg2+
(aq)
+ CaO
(s)
+ H
2
O
Ca2+
(aq)
+ Mg(OH)
2(s)

The hydroxide is then converted to a partial hydrate of magnesium chloride by treating the hydroxide with hydrochloric acid and heating of the product:

Mg(OH)
2(s)
+ 2 HCl → MgCl
2(aq)
+ 2H
2
O
(l)

The salt is then electrolyzed in the molten state. At the cathode, the Mg2+
ion is reduced by two electrons to magnesium metal:

Mg2+
+ 2
e
→ Mg

At the anode, each pair of Cl
ions is oxidized to chlorine gas, releasing two electrons to complete the circuit:

2 Cl
Cl
2
(g) + 2
e

A new process, solid oxide membrane technology, involves the electrolytic reduction of MgO. At the cathode, Mg2+
ion is reduced by two electrons to magnesium metal. The electrolyte is yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ). The anode is a liquid metal. At the YSZ/liquid metal anode O2−
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. [28] It has been reported that this method provides a 40% reduction in cost per pound over the electrolytic reduction method. [29] This method is more environmentally sound than others because there is much less carbon dioxide emitted.

The United States has traditionally been the major world supplier of this metal, supplying 45% of world production even as recently as 1995. Today, the US market share is at 7%, with a single domestic producer left, US Magnesium, a Renco Group company in Utah born from now-defunct Magcorp. [30]

History

The name magnesium originates from the Greek word for a district in Thessaly called Magnesia. [31] It is related to magnetite and manganese, which also originated from this area, and required differentiation as separate substances. See 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 and its fame spread. [32] It was eventually recognized as hydrated magnesium sulfate, MgSO
4
·7H
2
O
.

The metal itself was first isolated by Sir Humphry Davy in England in 1808. He used electrolysis on a mixture of magnesia and mercuric oxide. [33] Antoine Bussy prepared it in coherent form in 1831. Davy's first suggestion for a name was magnium, [33] but the name magnesium is now used.

Uses as a metal

An unusual application of magnesium as an illumination source while wakeskating in 1931 Bundesarchiv Bild 102-12062, Wasserreiter mit Magnesiumfackeln.jpg
An unusual application of magnesium as an illumination source while wakeskating in 1931

Magnesium is the third-most-commonly-used structural metal, following iron and aluminium. [34] The main applications of magnesium are, in order: aluminium alloys, die-casting (alloyed with zinc), [35] removing sulfur in the production of iron and steel, and the production of titanium in the Kroll process. [36] Magnesium is used in super-strong, lightweight materials and alloys. For example, when infused with silicon carbide nanoparticles, it has extremely high specific strength. [37]

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. Currently, magnesium alloy use in aerospace is increasing, driven by the importance of fuel economy. [38] Development and testing of new magnesium alloys continues, notably Elektron 21, which (in test) has proved suitable for aerospace engine, internal, and airframe components. [39] The European Community runs three R&D magnesium projects in the Aerospace priority of Six Framework Program.

In the form of thin ribbons, magnesium is used to purify solvents; for example, preparing super-dry ethanol.

Aircraft

Automotive

Mg alloy motorcycle engine blocks Mg alloy car engine blocks.jpg
Mg alloy motorcycle engine blocks

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 grain boundaries, for example by adding mischmetal or calcium. [43] New alloy development and lower costs that make magnesium competitive with aluminium will increase the number of automotive applications.

Electronics

Because of low weight and good mechanical and electrical properties, magnesium is widely used for manufacturing of mobile phones, laptop and tablet computers, cameras, and other electronic components.

Products made of magnesium: firestarter and shavings, sharpener, magnesium ribbon Magnesium-products.jpg
Products made of magnesium: firestarter and shavings, sharpener, magnesium ribbon

Other

Magnesium, being readily available and relatively nontoxic, has a variety of uses:

Safety precautions

Magnesium block heated with blowtorch to self-combustion, emitting intense white light
Magnesium
Hazards
GHS pictograms GHS-pictogram-flamme.svg
GHS signal word Danger
H228, H251, H261
P210, P231, P235, P410, P422 [45]
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g. waterHealth code 0: Exposure under fire conditions would offer no hazard beyond that of ordinary combustible material. E.g. sodium chlorideReactivity code 2: Undergoes violent chemical change at elevated temperatures and pressures, reacts violently with water, or may form explosive mixtures with water. E.g. white phosphorusSpecial hazards (white): no codeMagnesium
0
0
2

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. [46]

Magnesium is capable of reducing water and releasing highly flammable hydrogen gas: [47]

Mg (s) + 2 H
2
O
(l) → Mg(OH)
2
(s) + H
2
(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 exothermically to form magnesium oxide and carbon: [48]

2 Mg + CO
2
→ 2 MgO + C (s)

Hence, carbon dioxide fuels rather than extinguishes magnesium fires.

Burning magnesium can be quenched by using a Class D dry chemical fire extinguisher, or by covering the fire with sand or magnesium foundry flux to remove its air source. [49]

Useful compounds

Magnesium compounds, primarily magnesium oxide (MgO), are used as a refractory material in furnace linings for producing 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 fire-resistant cables. [50]

Magnesium reacted with an alkyl halide gives a 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 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 and those that use other nucleotides to synthesize DNA and RNA. The ATP molecule is normally found in a chelate with a magnesium ion. [51]

Nutrition

Diet

Examples of food sources of magnesium (clockwise from top left): bran muffins, pumpkin seeds, barley, buckwheat flour, low-fat vanilla yogurt, trail mix, halibut steaks, garbanzo beans, lima beans, soybeans, and spinach FoodSourcesOfMagnesium.jpg
Examples of food sources of magnesium (clockwise from top left): bran muffins, pumpkin seeds, barley, buckwheat flour, low-fat vanilla yogurt, trail mix, halibut steaks, garbanzo beans, lima beans, soybeans, and spinach

Spices, nuts, cereals, cocoa and vegetables are rich sources of magnesium. [13] Green leafy vegetables such as spinach are also rich in magnesium. [52]

Dietary recommendations

In the UK, the recommended daily values for magnesium are 300 mg for men and 270 mg for women. [53] 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. [54]

Supplementation

Numerous 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, chloride, lactate or aspartate. [55] [56]

Metabolism

An adult has 22–26 grams of magnesium, [13] [57] with 60% in the skeleton, 39% intracellular (20% in skeletal muscle), and 1% extracellular. [13] 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 absorption and renal excretion. Intracellular magnesium is correlated with intracellular potassium. Increased magnesium lowers calcium [58] and can either prevent hypercalcemia or cause hypocalcemia depending on the initial level. [58] 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. [59]

Detection in serum and plasma

Magnesium status may be assessed by measuring serum and erythrocyte magnesium concentrations coupled with urinary and fecal magnesium content, but intravenous magnesium loading tests are more accurate and practical. [60] A retention of 20% or more of the injected amount indicates deficiency. [61] No biomarker has been established for magnesium. [62]

Magnesium concentrations in plasma or serum may be monitored for efficacy and safety in those receiving the drug therapeutically, to confirm the diagnosis in potential poisoning victims, or to assist in the forensic investigation in a case of fatal overdose. The newborn children of mothers who received parenteral magnesium sulfate during labor may exhibit toxicity with normal serum magnesium levels. [63]

Deficiency

Low plasma magnesium (hypomagnesemia) is common: it is found in 2.5–15% of the general population. [64] From 2005 to 2006, 48 percent of the United States population consumed less magnesium than recommended in the Dietary Reference Intake. [65] 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, cardiovascular, and metabolic dysfunction may occur. [64] Alcoholism is often associated with magnesium deficiency. Chronically low serum magnesium levels are associated with metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus type 2, fasciculation, and hypertension. [66]

Therapy

Sorted by type of magnesium salt, other therapeutic applications include:

Overdose

Overdose from dietary sources alone is unlikely because excess magnesium in the blood is promptly filtered by the kidneys, [64] and overdose is more likely in the presence of impaired renal function. In spite of this, megadose therapy has caused death in a young child, [73] and severe hypermagnesemia in a woman [74] and a young girl [75] who had healthy kidneys. The most common symptoms of overdose are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; other symptoms include hypotension, confusion, slowed heart and respiratory rate, deficiencies of other minerals, coma, cardiac arrhythmia, and death from cardiac arrest. [58]

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 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 leached), or crushed dolomitic limestone, to the soil.

See also

Related Research Articles

Aluminium Chemical element with atomic number 13

Aluminium is a chemical element with the symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery-white, soft, non-magnetic and ductile metal in the boron group. By mass, aluminium makes up about 8% of the Earth's crust; it is the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon and the most abundant metal in the crust, though it is less common in the mantle below. The chief ore of aluminium is bauxite. Aluminium metal is highly reactive, such that native specimens are rare and limited to extreme reducing environments. Instead, it is found combined in over 270 different minerals.

Barium Chemical element with atomic number 56

Barium is a chemical element with the symbol Ba and atomic number 56. It is the fifth element in group 2 and is a soft, silvery alkaline earth metal. Because of its high chemical reactivity, barium is never found in nature as a free element. Its hydroxide, known in pre-modern times as baryta, does not occur as a mineral, but can be prepared by heating barium carbonate.

Calcium Chemical element with atomic number 20

Calcium is a chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. As an alkaline earth metal, calcium is a reactive metal that forms a dark oxide-nitride layer when exposed to air. Its physical and chemical properties are most similar to its heavier homologues strontium and barium. It is the fifth most abundant element in Earth's crust and the third most abundant metal, after iron and aluminium. The most common calcium compound on Earth is calcium carbonate, found in limestone and the fossilised remnants of early sea life; gypsum, anhydrite, fluorite, and apatite are also sources of calcium. The name derives from Latin calx "lime", which was obtained from heating limestone.

Hydroxide anion

Hydroxide is a diatomic anion with chemical formula OH. It consists of an oxygen and hydrogen atom held together by a covalent bond, and carries a negative electric charge. It is an important but usually minor constituent of water. It functions as a base, a ligand, a nucleophile, and a catalyst. The hydroxide ion forms salts, some of which dissociate in aqueous solution, liberating solvated hydroxide ions. Sodium hydroxide is a multi-million-ton per annum commodity chemical. A hydroxide attached to a strongly electropositive center may itself ionize, liberating a hydrogen cation (H+), making the parent compound an acid.

Lanthanum Chemical element with atomic number 57

Lanthanum is a chemical element with the symbol La and atomic number 57. It is a soft, ductile, silvery-white metal that tarnishes slowly when exposed to air and is soft enough to be cut with a knife. It is the eponym of the lanthanide series, a group of 15 similar elements between lanthanum and lutetium in the periodic table, of which lanthanum is the first and the prototype. It is also sometimes considered the first element of the 6th-period transition metals, which would put it in group 3, although lutetium is sometimes placed in this position instead. Lanthanum is traditionally counted among the rare earth elements. The usual oxidation state is +3. Lanthanum has no biological role in humans but is essential to some bacteria. It is not particularly toxic to humans but does show some antimicrobial activity.

Oxide chemical compound with at least one oxygen atom

An oxide is a chemical compound that contains at least one oxygen atom and one other element in its chemical formula. "Oxide" itself is the dianion of oxygen, an O2– atom. Metal oxides thus typically contain an anion of oxygen in the oxidation state of −2. Most of the Earth's crust consists of solid oxides, the result of elements being oxidized by the oxygen in air or in water. Hydrocarbon combustion affords the two principal carbon oxides: carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Even materials considered pure elements often develop an oxide coating. For example, aluminium foil develops a thin skin of Al2O3 (called a passivation layer) that protects the foil from further corrosion. Individual elements can often form multiple oxides, each containing different amounts of the element and oxygen. In some cases these are distinguished by specifying the number of atoms as in carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, and in other cases by specifying the element's oxidation number, as in iron(II) oxide and iron(III) oxide. Certain elements can form many different oxides, such as those of nitrogen. other examples are silicon, iron, titanium, and aluminium oxides.

Alkaline earth metal group of chemical elements

The alkaline earth metals are six chemical elements in group 2 of the periodic table. They are beryllium (Be), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), strontium (Sr), barium (Ba), and radium (Ra). The elements have very similar properties: they are all shiny, silvery-white, somewhat reactive metals at standard temperature and pressure.

Corrosion Gradual destruction of materials by chemical reaction with its environment

Corrosion is a natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically-stable form such as oxide, hydroxide, or sulfide. It is the gradual destruction of materials by chemical and/or electrochemical reaction with their environment. Corrosion engineering is the field dedicated to controlling and stopping corrosion.

Magnesium oxide chemical compound

Magnesium oxide (MgO), or magnesia, is a white hygroscopic solid mineral that occurs naturally as periclase and is a source of magnesium (see also oxide). It has an empirical formula of MgO and consists of a lattice of Mg2+ ions and O2− ions held together by ionic bonding. Magnesium hydroxide forms in the presence of water (MgO + H2O → Mg(OH)2), but it can be reversed by heating it to separate moisture.

Galvanic anode main component of cathodic protection

A galvanic anode is the main component of a galvanic cathodic protection (CP) system used to protect buried or submerged metal structures from corrosion.

Aluminium hydroxide chemical compound

Aluminium hydroxide, Al(OH)3, is found in nature as the mineral gibbsite (also known as hydrargillite) and its three much rarer polymorphs: bayerite, doyleite, and nordstrandite. Aluminium hydroxide is amphoteric in nature, i.e., it has both basic and acidic properties. Closely related are aluminium oxide hydroxide, AlO(OH), and aluminium oxide or alumina (Al2O3), the latter of which is also amphoteric. These compounds together are the major components of the aluminium ore bauxite.

A period 3 element is one of the chemical elements in the third row of the periodic table of the chemical elements. The periodic table is laid out in rows to illustrate recurring (periodic) trends in the chemical behaviour of the elements as their atomic number increases: a new row is begun when the periodic table skips a row and a chemical behaviour begins to repeat, meaning that elements with similar behavior fall into the same vertical columns. The third period contains eight elements: sodium, magnesium, aluminium, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, and argon. The first two, sodium and magnesium, are members of the s-block of the periodic table, while the others are members of the p-block. All of the period 3 elements occur in nature and have at least one stable isotope.

Magnesium chloride chemical compound

Magnesium chloride is the name for the chemical compound with the formula MgCl2 and its various hydrates MgCl2(H2O)x. These salts are typical ionic halides, being highly soluble in water. The hydrated magnesium chloride can be extracted from brine or sea water. In North America, magnesium chloride is produced primarily from Great Salt Lake brine. It is extracted in a similar process from the Dead Sea in the Jordan Valley. Magnesium chloride, as the natural mineral bischofite, is also extracted (by solution mining) out of ancient seabeds, for example, the Zechstein seabed in northwest Europe. Some magnesium chloride is made from solar evaporation of seawater. Anhydrous magnesium chloride is the principal precursor to magnesium metal, which is produced on a large scale. Hydrated magnesium chloride is the form most readily available.

In organic chemistry, an aryl halide is an aromatic compound in which one or more hydrogen atoms directly bonded to an aromatic ring are replaced by a halide. The haloarene are distinguished from haloalkanes because they exhibit many differences in methods of preparation and properties. The most important members are the aryl chlorides, but the class of compounds is so broad that many derivatives enjoy niche applications.

Magnesium nitrate chemical compound

Magnesium nitrate refers to inorganic compounds with the formula Mg(NO3)2(H2O)x, where x = 6, 2, and 0. All are white solids. The anhydrous material is hygroscopic, quickly forming the hexahydrate upon standing in air. All of the salts are very soluble in both water and ethanol.

Grignard reagent

A Grignard reagent or Grignard compound is a chemical compound with the generic formula R–Mg–X, where X is a halogen and R is an organic group, normally an alkyl or aryl. Two typical examples are methylmagnesium chloride H
3
C–Mg–Cl
and phenylmagnesium bromide (C
6
H
5
)–Mg–Br
. They are a subclass of the organomagnesium compounds

Magnesium salts are available as a medication in a number of formulations. They are used to treat magnesium deficiency, low blood magnesium, eclampsia, and several other conditions. Magnesium is important to health.

Magnesium batteries are batteries that utilize magnesium cations as the active charge transporting agent in solution and as the elemental anode of an electrochemical cell. Both non-rechargeable primary cell and rechargeable secondary cell chemistries have been investigated. Magnesium primary cell batteries have been commercialised and have found use as reserve and general use batteries.

Compounds of aluminium class of chemical compounds

Aluminium (or aluminum) combines characteristics of pre- and post-transition metals. Since it has few available electrons for metallic bonding, like its heavier group 13 congeners, it has the characteristic physical properties of a post-transition metal, with longer-than-expected interatomic distances. Furthermore, as Al3+ is a small and highly charged cation, it is strongly polarizing and aluminium compounds tend towards covalency; this behaviour is similar to that of beryllium (Be2+), an example of a diagonal relationship. However, unlike all other post-transition metals, the underlying core under aluminium's valence shell is that of the preceding noble gas, whereas for gallium and indium it is that of the preceding noble gas plus a filled d-subshell, and for thallium and nihonium it is that of the preceding noble gas plus filled d- and f-subshells. Hence, aluminium does not suffer the effects of incomplete shielding of valence electrons by inner electrons from the nucleus that its heavier congeners do. Aluminium's electropositive behavior, high affinity for oxygen, and highly negative standard electrode potential are all more similar to those of scandium, yttrium, lanthanum, and actinium, which have ds2 configurations of three valence electrons outside a noble gas core: aluminium is the most electropositive metal in its group. Aluminium also bears minor similarities to the metalloid boron in the same group; AlX3 compounds are valence isoelectronic to BX3 compounds (they have the same valence electronic structure), and both behave as Lewis acids and readily from adducts. Additionally, one of the main motifs of boron chemistry is regular icosahedral structures, and aluminium forms an important part of many icosahedral quasicrystal alloys, including the Al–Zn–Mg class.

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