Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg and atomic number 12.

Its common
oxidation number is +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth-most-abundant element in
the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole. Magnesium is the fourth-mostcommon element in the Earth as a whole (behind iron, oxygen and silicon), making up 13% of the
planet's mass and a large fraction of the planet's mantle. The relative abundance of magnesium
is related to the fact that it easily builds up in supernova stars from a sequential addition of three
helium nuclei to carbon (which in turn is made from three helium nuclei).[citation needed] Due to
magnesium ion's high solubility in water, it is the third-most-abundant element dissolved in
seawater. Magnesium is produced in stars larger than 3 solar masses by fusing helium and neon
in the alpha process at temperatures above 600 megakelvins.
The free element (metal) is not found naturally on Earth, as it is highly reactive (though once
produced, it is coated in a thin layer of oxide (see passivation), which partly masks this
reactivity). The free metal burns with a characteristic brilliant-white light, making it a useful
ingredient in flares. The metal is now obtained mainly by electrolysis of magnesium salts
obtained from brine. In commerce, the chief use for the metal is as an alloying agent to make
aluminium-magnesium alloys, sometimes called magnalium or magnelium. Since magnesium is
less dense than aluminium, these alloys are prized for their relative lightness and strength.
In human biology, magnesium is the eleventh-most-abundant element by mass in the human
body. Its ions are essential to all living cells, where they play a major role in manipulating
important biological polyphosphate compounds like ATP, DNA, and RNA. Hundreds of enzymes,
thus, require magnesium ions to function. Magnesium compounds are used medicinally as
common laxatives, antacids (e.g., milk of magnesia), and in a number of situations where
stabilization of abnormal nerve excitation and blood vessel spasm is required (e.g., to treat
eclampsia). Magnesium ions are sour to the taste, and in low concentrations they help to impart
a natural tartness to fresh mineral waters.
In vegetation, magnesium is the metallic ion at the center of chlorophyll, and is, thus, a common
additive to fertilizers.
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES: Elemental magnesium is a rather strong, silvery-white, light-weight metal
(two-thirds the density of aluminium). It tarnishes slightly when exposed to air, although, unlike
the alkali 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. Like its lower
periodic table group neighbor calcium, magnesium reacts with water at room temperature,
though it reacts much more slowly than calcium. When submerged in water, hydrogen bubbles
almost unnoticeably begin to form on the surface of the metal—though, if powdered, it reacts
much more rapidly. The reaction occurs faster with higher temperatures (see precautions).
Magnesium's ability to react with water can be harnessed to produce energy and run a
magnesium-based engine. Magnesium also reacts exothermically with most acids, such as
hydrochloric acid (HCl). As with aluminium, zinc, and many other metals, the reaction with HCl
produces the chloride of the metal and releases hydrogen gas.
CHEMICAL PROPERTIES: Magnesium is a highly flammable metal, but, while it is easy to ignite
when powdered or shaved into thin strips, it is difficult to ignite in mass or bulk. Once ignited, it
is difficult to extinguish, being able to burn 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 used in the firebombing of cities in
World War II, the only practical civil defense being to smother a burning flare under dry sand to

exclude the atmosphere. On burning in air, magnesium produces a brilliant-white light that
includes strong ultraviolet. Thus, magnesium powder (flash powder) was used as a source of
illumination in the early days of photography. Later, magnesium ribbon was used in electrically
ignited flashbulbs. Magnesium powder is used in the manufacture of fireworks and marine flares
where a brilliant white light is required. Flame temperatures of magnesium and magnesium
alloys can reach 3,100 °C (3,370 K; 5,610 °F),[7] although flame height above the burning metal
is usually less than 300 mm (12 in).[8] Magnesium may be used as an ignition source for
thermite, a mixture of aluminium and iron oxide powder that is otherwise difficult to ignite.

Magnesium compounds are typically white crystals. Most are soluble in water, providing the sourtasting magnesium ion Mg2+. Small amounts of dissolved magnesium ion contribute to the
tartness and taste of natural waters. Magnesium ion in large amounts is an ionic laxative, and
magnesium sulfate (common name: Epsom salt) is sometimes used for this purpose. So-called
"milk of magnesia" is a water suspension of one of the few insoluble magnesium compounds,
magnesium hydroxide. The undissolved particles give rise to its appearance and name. Milk of
magnesia is a mild base commonly used as an antacid, which has some laxative side-effect.
DOLOMITE: Dolomite is an anhydrous carbonate mineral composed of calcium magnesium
carbonate CaMg(CO3)2. The word dolomite is also used to describe the sedimentary carbonate
rock, which is composed predominantly of the mineral dolomite (also known as dolostone).
Formation: Recent research has found modern dolomite formation under anaerobic conditions in
supersaturated saline lagoons along the Rio de Janeiro coast of Brazil, namely, Lagoa Vermelha
and Brejo do Espinho. It is often thought that dolomite will develop only with the help of sulfatereducing bacteria (e.g. Desulfovibrio brasiliensis).[12] However, promising new research on lowtemperature dolomite formation indicates that low-temperature dolomite may occur in natural
environments rich in organic matter and microbial cell surfaces. This occurs as a result of
magnesium complexation by carboxyl groups associated with organic matter. Vast deposits of
dolomite are present in the geological record, but the mineral is relatively rare in modern
environments. Reproducible, inorganic low-temperature syntheses of dolomite and magnesite
were published for the first time in 1999. Those laboratory experiments showed how the initial
precipitation of a metastable "precursor" (such as magnesium calcite) will change gradually into
more and more of the stable phase (such as dolomite or magnesite) during periodical intervals of
dissolution and re-precipitation. The general principle governing the course of this irreversible
geochemical reaction has been coined "breaking Ostwald's step rule". There is some evidence for
a biogenic occurrence of dolomite. One example is that of the formation of dolomite in the
urinary bladder of a Dalmatian dog, possibly as the result of an illness or infection.
Although it is the eighth most abundant element in the universe and the seventh most abundant
element in the earth's crust, magnesium is never found free in nature. Magnesium was first
isolated by Sir Humphry Davy, an English chemist, through the electrolysis of a mixture of
magnesium oxide (MgO) and mercuric oxide (HgO) in 1808. Today, magnesium can be extracted
from the minerals dolomite (CaCO3·MgCO3) and carnallite (KCl·MgCl2·6H2O), but is most often
obtained from seawater. Every cubic kilometer of seawater contains about 1.3 billion kilograms of
magnesium (12 billion pounds per cubic mile).
Magnesium burns with a brilliant white light and is used in pyrotechnics, flares and photographic
flashbulbs. Magnesium is the lightest metal that can be used to build things, although its use as
a structural material is limited since it burns at relatively low temperatures. Magnesium is

frequently alloyed with aluminum, which makes aluminum easier to roll, extrude and weld.
Magnesium-aluminum alloys are used where strong, lightweight materials are required, such as
in airplanes, missiles and rockets. Cameras, horseshoes, baseball catchers' masks and
snowshoes are other items that are made from magnesium alloys.
Magnesium oxide (MgO), also known as magnesia, is the second most abundant compound in the
earth's crust. Magnesium oxide is used in some antacids, in making crucibles and insulating
materials, in refining some metals from their ores and in some types of cements. When combined
with water (H2O), magnesia forms magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2), better known as milk of
magnesia, which is commonly used as an antacid and as a laxative.Hydrated magnesium
sulphate (MgSO4·7H2O), better known as Epsom salt, was discovered in 1618 by a farmer in
Epsom, England, when his cows refused to drink the water from a certain mineral well. He tasted
the water and found that it tasted very bitter. He also noticed that it helped heal scratches and
rashes on his skin. Epsom salt is still used today to treat minor skin abrasions.Other magnesium
compounds include magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) and magnesium fluoride (MgF2). Magnesium
carbonate is used to make some types of paints and inks and is added to table salt to prevent
caking. A thin film of magnesium fluoride is applied to optical lenses to help reduce glare and


percent by weight



parts per million by weight


CARNALITE: Carnallite is an evaporite mineral, a hydrated potassium magnesium chloride with
formula KMgCl3·6(H2O). It is variably colored yellow to white, reddish, and sometimes colorless
or blue. It is usually massive to fibrous with rare pseudohexagonal orthorhombic crystals. The
mineral is deliquescent (absorbs moisture from the surrounding air) and specimens must be
stored in an airtight container.
Carnallite occurs with a sequence of potassium and magnesium evaporite minerals: sylvite,
kainite, picromerite, polyhalite, and kieserite. Carnallite is an uncommon double chloride mineral
that only forms under specific environmental conditions in an evaporating sea or sedimentary
basin. It is mined for both potassium and magnesium and occurs in the evaporite deposits of
Carlsbad, New Mexico; the Paradox Basin in Colorado and Utah; Stassfurt, Germany; the Perm
Basin, Russia; and the Williston Basin in Saskatchewan, Canada. These deposits date from the
Devonian through the Permian Periods. In contrast, both Israel and Jordan produce potash from
the Dead Sea by using evaporation pans to further concentrate the brine until carnallite
precipitates, dredging the carnallite from the pans, and processing to remove the magnesium
chloride from the potassium chloride.Carnallite was first described in 1856 from its type location

of Stassfurt Deposit, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It was named for the Prussian mining engineer
Rudolf von Carnall (1804–1874).
Carnallite is found in saline marine deposits. Carnallite minerals are mineral sediments known as
evaporites. Evaporites are concentrated by evaporation of seawater. The inflow of water must be
below the evaporation or use levels. This creates a prolonged evaporation period. In controlled
environment experiments, the halides form when 10%–20% of the original sample of water
remains. Closer to 10 percent sylvite followed by Carnallite form.
Formation of evaporite rocks:Although all water bodies on the surface and in aquifers contain
dissolved salts, the water must evaporate into the atmosphere for the minerals to precipitate. For
this to happen, the water body must enter a restricted environment where water input into this
environment remains below the net rate of evaporation. This is usually an arid environment with
a small basin fed by a limited input of water. When evaporation occurs, the remaining water is
enriched in salts, and they precipitate when the water becomes supersaturated.
*Magnesium is an abundant and vitally useful element which has numerous industrial
applications in addition to being important to human health. It is the third most common
dissolved mineral in seawater, and many sources of magnesium are actually mineral deposits left
behind by oceans. Magnesium is also extracted from highly concentrated brine wells, and, yes, it
is also possible to extract magnesium from seawater. Brine wells can be found in numerous
places all over the world, and they have been used historically as a source of salt as well as
magnesium.Many manufacturers prefer to treat brine to extract magnesium, since brine has a
high concentration of dissolved minerals, including magnesium. The required to extract
magnesium from seawater is actually identical, although it requires the processing of a high
volume of seawater for the same end amount of magnesium. Since magnesium is extremely
useful, the process is worth the cost to some companies. During the Second World War
especially, when magnesium was highly sought after, several companies established facilities to
extract magnesium from seawater.
To start the extraction process, a company mixes the seawater with its suspended salts, including
magnesium hydroxide, with calcium oxide, also called lime, to make a slurry. The slurry is
allowed to sit so that the solids settle to the bottom and the water rises to the top, and then the
solids are removed, filtered, and washed to remove residual chlorides. The end result is a loosely
packed “cake” of material which is calcined in a kiln to leave magnesium behind.Depending on
the precise compound desired, other ingredients such as sulfuric acid may be mixed with the
slurry to generate a different end product. Since a variety of magnesium compounds are used in
industrial processes, these unique treatments can create a range of targeted products. The
substance may also be turned back into magnesium hydroxide in the case of milk of magnesia, a
solution of magnesium in water which is used to treat an assortment of intestinal
complaints.Companies which extract magnesium from seawater rely on very large processing
plants which are capable of handling high volumes of seawater. Since the dissolved salts in
seawater only make up around 3.5 percent of the total volume, as opposed to brine, which has
dissolved salts in concentrations upwards of 50%, a very large amount of seawater must be
processed to make seawater production comparable to brine wells.
BRINE VS. SALTWATER: The primary difference between these categories of water is the dissolved
salt content. The most common source of saltwater is seawater that contains about 35,000 mg/L
of dissolved solids. Any water that contains over 10,000 mg/L of dissolved solids is generally
referred to as salt water, while water containing between 1,000 and 10,000 mg/L of dissolved

solids is referred to as brackish water and water with less than 1,000 mg/L of dissolved solids is
referred to as freshwater. Salt saturated water is generally referred to as brine. Some use the
following water salinity classification scheme: brine, greater than 50,000 mg/L; saline, 30,000 to
50,000 mg/L; brackish, 5,000 to 30,000 mg/L; and fresh, less than 5,000 mg/L.
Mg IN BRINE: Magnesium chloride is the name for the chemical compounds with the formulas
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 (via 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.
TALC: is a mineral composed of hydrated magnesium silicate with the chemical formula
H2Mg3(SiO3)4 or Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. In loose form, it is the widely used substance known as
talcum powder. It occurs as foliated to fibrous masses, and in an exceptionally rare crystal form.
It has a perfect basal cleavage, and the folia are non-elastic, although slightly flexible. It is the
softest known mineral and listed as 1 on the Mohs hardness scale. It can be easily scratched by a
fingernail. It is also sectile (can be cut with a knife). It has a specific gravity of 2.5–2.8, a clear or
dusty luster, and is translucent to opaque. Talc is not soluble in water, but it is slightly soluble in
dilute mineral acids. Its colour ranges from white to grey or green and it has a distinctly greasy
feel. Its streak is white.

Soapstone is a metamorphic rock composed predominantly of talc.
OCCURENCE: Talc is a common metamorphic mineral in metamorphic belts which contain
ultramafic rocks, such as soapstone (a high-talc rock), and within whiteschist and blueschist
metamorphic terranes. Prime examples of whiteschists include the Franciscan Metamorphic Belt
of the western United States, the western European Alps especially in Italy, certain areas of the
Musgrave Block, and some collisional orogens such as the Himalayas which stretches along
Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan.Talc carbonate ultramafics are typical of many areas of the
Archaean cratons, notably the komatiite belts of the Yilgarn Craton in Western Australia. Talccarbonate ultramafics are also known from the Lachlan Fold Belt, eastern Australia, from Brazil,
the Guiana Shield, and from the ophiolite belts of Turkey, Oman and the Middle East.Notable
economic talc occurrences include the Mount Seabrook talc mine, Western Australia, formed
upon a polydeformed, layered ultramafic intrusion. The France-based Luzenac Group is the
world's largest supplier of mined talc; its largest talc mine at Trimouns near Luzenac in southern
France produces 400,000 tonnes of talc per year, representing 8% of world production.
Minerals containing Mg:
Actinolite, Adelite, Admontite, Aerinite, Åkermanite, Aksaite, Aldermanit, Althausite, Amesite
,Ankerite, Anthophyllite, Arfvedsonite, Armalcolite, Artinite, Augite, Balangeroite, Barbertonite,
Benstonite, Biotite, Bischofite, Blödite, Boracite, Boussingaultite, Brammallite, Brassite, Brucite,
Canavesite, Carlosruizite, Carnallite, Caryopilite, Celadonite, Chabazite, Chlorastrolite, Chloritoid,
Chondrodite, Chromite, Chrysotile, Clinohumite, Clintonite, Collinsite, Cordierite, Crossite,

Cummingtonite, Diopside, Dolomite, Dypingite, Efremovite, Enstatite, Epsomite, Ferrierite, Fluoruvite, Fluororichterite, Forsterite, Fougerite, Galaxite, Garnet, Garnierite, Glauconite,
Glaucophane, Gormanite, Gunningite, Haggertyite, Hazenite, Homilite, Hornblende, Huemulite,
Humite, Huntite, Hydromagnesite, Hydrotalcite, Hypersthene, Illite, Kainite, Kanoite, Karlite,
Keilite, Kieserite, Knorringite, Lansfordite, Lazulite, Lipscombite, Loveringite, Ludwigite, Lulzacite,
Magnesioferrite, Magnesiopascoite, Magnesite, Magnesium oxide, Manganvesuvianite,
Meerschaum, Melilite, Meridianiite, Montmorillonite, Motukoreaite, Niningerite, Norbergite,
Olivine, Omphacite, Osumilite, Ottrelite Palygorskite, Panguite, Periclase, Phlogopite, Pigeonite,
Polyhalite, Pyrope, Quintinite, Rhodonite, Richterite, Riebeckite, Ringwoodite, Saponite,
Sapphirine, Schäferite, Scorzalite, Segelerite, Sekaninaite, Sepiolite, Serpentine group, Spinel,
Staurolite, Stichtite, Struvite, Taaffeite, Tachyhydrite, Talc, Teruggite, Todorokite, Tremolite,
Upsalite, Vermiculite, Vesuvianite, Wagnerite, Warwickite, Whiteite, Whitlockite, Zanazziite,
Zemannite, Zhemchuzhnikovite, Zincobotryogen

SILICOTHERMIC PP: The Pidgeon process is one of the methods of magnesium metal production,
via a silicothermic reduction. Practical production requires roughly 35–40 MWh/ton of metal
produced, which is on par with the molten salt electrolytic methods of production, though above
the 7 MWh/ton theoretical minimum.
WORLD MARKET ISSUES: Prior to the mid-1990s the world market for magnesium metal
production was dominated by electrolytic processes, with the United States as the dominant
supplier. For over 80 years Dow Chemical operated a 65 kton/y capacity plant near Freeport, TX,
based on seawater extracted magnesium chloride electrolysis, which was the prime magnesium
metal supplier until its closure in 1998. As of 2005, there is a single US producer, in Utah, US
Magnesium, a company borne from now-defunct Magcorp.[1][2] Very severe[citation needed]
antidumping tariffs are in the process of being imposed on Chinese imports[citation needed] . As
of 2005, the US produced about 45 out of a 615 kton/yr (7%), compared to 140 out of 311
kton/yr (45%) in 1995. In contrast, in 2005 China produced 400 out of the 615 kton/yr (65%),
compared to 12 out of 311 kton/yr (4%) in 1995.The price of magnesium metal plummeted from
$2300/t in 1995 to $1300/t by 2001, but recently (2004) climbed back over $2300/t, due to
increased ferrosilicon, energy and transportation costs, and in anticipation of severe antidumping
duties throughout the world.As stated above, the energy efficiency of thermal processes is
comparable to electrolytic ones, both requiring roughly 35-40 MWh/ton[citation needed]. The
Pidgeon method is less complex technologically, and because of distillation/vapor deposition
conditions, a high purity product is easily achievable. In the past, besides the US, the other major
magnesium producers have traditionally included Norsk Hydro of Norway/Canada, and to a lesser
extent, the former Soviet Union countries, Brazil and France, all possessing cheap and abundant
hydroelectric or nuclear electric power. A player recently stepping on the world market is Israel,
while Australian company Magnesium International is planning a 100 kton/yr smelter at Sokhna
in Egypt, using the Dow electrolytic process.
SOLID OXIDE MEMBRANE TECHNOLOGY: The solid oxide membrane (SOM) process is an emerging
technology for the environmentally friendly extraction of high-energy-content metals such as
magnesium, tantalum, and titanium directly from their respective oxides. This paper reports on
the recent success of the SOM process for magnesium production from magnesium oxide
dissolved in fluoride-based fluxes in the temperature range 1150 °C to 1300 °C. This process
employs an inert oxygen-ion-conducting stabilized zirconia membrane to separate the inert
cathode in the flux from the anode. When the applied electrical potential between the electrodes

exceeds the dissociation potential of magnesium oxide, oxygen ions are pumped out of the melt
and through the zirconia membrane to the anode where they are oxidized. Reduced magnesium
evolves at the cathode as a vapor and is condensed in a separate chamber yielding a high-purity
product. The SOM cell has been electrochemically characterized, and key concepts related to
MgO dissociation, leakage current, and mass transfer relevant to the SOM process are explained.

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