9 Characteristics of Magnesium

Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg and atomic number 12. It is an alkaline earth metal that has several special characteristics. Following are some general characteristics of magnesium:

  1. Physical Properties:
  • Color and Appearance: Magnesium is a shiny, silvery-white metal.
  • Melting Point and Boiling Point: Magnesium has a melting point of about 650°C (1,202°F) and a boiling point of about 1,090°C (1,994°F).
  1. Chemical Properties:
  • Reactivity: Magnesium is a reactive metal and can react with oxygen and water.
  • Reducing Power: Magnesium is a strong reducing agent and tends to lose two electrons to form Mg²⁺ ions.
  • Alkaline Earth Metals: Magnesium belongs to the group of alkaline earth metals in the periodic table.
  1. Abundance and Resources:
  • Natural Abundance: Magnesium is found in abundant quantities in the earth’s crust, especially in the form of minerals such as dolomite and magnesite.
  • Primary Source: Magnesium can be extracted from these minerals or from seawater.
  1. Uses:
  • Industry: Magnesium is used in a variety of industrial applications, including metal alloy manufacturing, fuel manufacturing, and steel production.
  • Health: Magnesium is an essential mineral in the human body and plays a role in many biological processes. Magnesium supplements can be used to treat magnesium deficiency.
  1. Thermal Properties:
  • Thermal Conductivity: Magnesium has relatively high thermal conductivity, so it is used in thermal applications such as manufacturing light metals.
  1. Light and Strong:
  • Low Specific Gravity: Magnesium has a low specific gravity, making it one of the lightest metals.
  • High Strength: Although light, magnesium has relatively high strength, especially in alloy forms such as magnesium-aluminum metal.
  1. Bright Burning:
  • Magnesium can undergo very bright combustion when exposed to high heat, and this makes it used in the production of photographic flash and fuel for combustion.
  1. Isotopes:
  • Magnesium has several stable isotopes, including Mg-24, Mg-25, and Mg-26.
  1. Electronic Characteristics:
  • The electronic configuration of magnesium is [Ne] 3s², indicating that two electrons are located in its outermost shell.
  1. Easy Melting:
  • Magnesium has a relatively low melting point, so it is easy to melt and mold into the desired shape.
  1. Uses in Aerospace Industry:
  • Its low weight and strength mean that magnesium is used in the aerospace industry for the manufacture of structural components for light aircraft.

These characteristics make magnesium important in a variety of industrial, medical, and technological applications. Its abundant presence and unique properties make it a valuable ingredient in many aspects of daily life.

Applications

Magnesium is used in the manufacture of alloys, in incendiary bombs, airplane parts, fireworks, disposable lamps for camera flashes, etc.

In addition, various magnesium compounds can be used as refractory material, antacid and laxative ( milk of magnesia – aqueous suspension of magnesium hydroxide, Mg(OH)2).

Sodium hydroxide ( better known as caustic soda) is used to clean pipes.