The Importance And Uses Of Magnesium

1581 words - 7 pages

In chemistry and in our world there are elements that are needed for survival in our everyday life, and one essential element that both humans and plants need is magnesium. Magnesium is an alkaline earth metal that is the second element found in group two on the periodic table. Magnesium is an important element that is used in our everyday society and found in the industry, agriculture, research, and medical areas.
Magnesium is a hard, silvery-white metal that is the lightest weight element used for making objects that need to have a strong metal to keep it together. Its symbol is Mg and its atomic number, the number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom, is twelve (“Magnesium” Periodic). Magnesium is one of the more commonly used elements in our world because it is the eleventh-most-abundant element in the human body and the eighth-most-abundant element in the Earth’s crust. It was discovered in the 1755 by a Scottish physician and chemist named Joseph Black. He did many experiments on magnesium compounds to find that having magnesium combined with other elements would create many useful compounds, which is when two elements are mixed together (Newton).
Many of the compounds created from magnesium are helpful in the industry fields. One of the most common magnesium compounds is Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4). This combination is also known as Epson salt (Newton). It’s useful in the textile industry for fireproofing and leather-processes. (“Magnesium” Infoplease). Some compounds found in the industry field are Magnesium Silicate, Oxide, Carbonate, and Chloride. The Magnesium Silicate compound is a good material for manufacturing plastic, paint, and mostly paper. Without Magnesium Silicate we wouldn’t have talc in books. Talc is an important fiber in paper that helps make the paper smooth and white, and it can stop any ink from smudging on the paper. “Magnesium Chloride is used to make tough cements for flooring and in the textile industry. Magnesium Carbonate is used to make inks, glass, rubber, pharmaceuticals, and food additives. It is also used as insulation for boilers and pipes”. The reaction that Magnesium Chloride makes is MgCl2 → Mg + Cl2 (Uttley). A Magnesium compound that helps with the heating in your home is Magnesium Oxide (MgO). It is a good insulating material and heating-refractory. The balance equation for this is: 2Mg + O2 → 2MgO. Also, when using cotton and wool fabrics, cement, or ceramics people need Magnesium Citrate (Mg3(C6H5O7)2. (“Magnesium” Today’s). “Other compounds that are in industry are magnesium fluoride and magnesium oxide that produce glass and ceramics, magnesium hexafluorosilicate that is mothprooding of textiles, magnesium phosphate that can be used for fireproofing wood for construction, and magnesium sulfite that is used in manufacturing paper” (Newton). Since magnesium is easily reactive it can combine with other elements to form several useful compounds.
One specific use of Mg compounds in our society...

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