About element magnesium - WorldOfChemicals

Magnesium: Properties, production and health benefits


Magnesium is a chemical compound with symbol Mg and atomic number 12. Magnesium is the ninth most plentiful element in the universe. In the earth’s crust it is the eighth most common element and fourth most common compound in the earth. Magnesium is the third most abundant compound after sodium and chlorine dissolved in seawater.

Chemical Properties:

  • Magnesium is highly flammable notable when it is powdered or shaved into thin strips.

  • Magnesium combine with oxygen in the air forming manganese dioxide.

  • Magnesium is very reactive with halogens like chlorine or bromine.

  • It reacts more rapidly at higher temperatures.

  • Magnesium reacts slowly with cold water and faster with hot water.

Physical Properties:

  • Magnesium is shiny gray-white in colour.

  • Magnesium has boiling point of 1091 degree Celsius and melting point of 650 degree Celsius.

  • Density of magnesium is 1.738 g/mL, which shows that it sinks in water.

  • Magnesium has hexagonal crystalline structure.

  • It is very ductile, can be easily beaten into thin sheets and is also malleable.


China is the dominant producer and supplier of magnesium with around 80% of the total world market share. China is completely relied on silicothermic Pidgeon process for the production of this metal. In this process reduction of oxide is done at high temperatures often by a ferrosilicon alloy in which iron is a spectator. This process can also be performed with carbon.

2MgO(s) + Si(s) + 2CaO(s) → 2Mg (g) + Ca2SiO4(s)

MgO(s) + C(s) → Mg (g) + CO(g)

In the US, magnesium is produced mainly with the Dow process, be performing electrolysis of fused magnesium chloride from brine and sea water. A saline solution which has Mg2+ ions is treated with lime water first and then the precipitated magnesium hydroxide is collected:

Mg2+ (aq) + CaO(s) + H2O → Ca2+ (aq) + Mg (OH) 2(s)

Then the hydroxide is converted into partial hydrate of magnesium chloride by treating hydroxide along with hydrochloric acid and then heating the product:

Mg (OH) 2(s) + 2 HCl → MgCl2 (aq) + 2H2O (l)

Then the salt is electrolyzed in the molten state. The Mg2+ ion is decreased by two electrons to magnesium metal at cathode:

Mg2+ + 2 e → Mg

At the anode, every pair of Cl- ion is reduced to chlorine gas, discharging two electrons to complete the circuit.

2 Cl- --> Cl2 (g) + 2 e-

9 Health Benefits of Magnesium:

  • Mitigate Constipation

  • Prevents Eclamptic Seizures

  • Treats Psychiatric Disorders and Prevents Asthma

  • Boosts Energy and Keeps Bones Strong

  • Relieves Cramps

  • Protects Heart Health

  • Controls Diabetes

  • Relieves Migraines

  • Manages Bladder Functions

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