Basic information Chemical Properties Production of Magnesium Oxide Application Industrial production of light magnesium oxide Toxicity Usage limit Uses Safety Supplier Related
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Magnesium oxide

Magnesium oxide (MgO), or magnesia, is a white hygroscopic solid mineral, often found as a powder, which occurs naturally as periclase and is a source of magnesium . It has an empirical formula of MgO and consists of a lattice of Mg2+ ions and O2? ions held together by ionic bonding. Magnesium oxide is only very slightly soluble in water but in aqueous media combines quickly with water to form magnesium hydroxide. The majority of magnesium oxide produced today is obtained from the calcination of naturally occurring minerals, magnesite, MgCO3, being the most common.

Basic information Chemical Properties Production of Magnesium Oxide Application Industrial production of light magnesium oxide Toxicity Usage limit Uses Safety Supplier Related

Magnesium oxide Basic information

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Magnesium oxide
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  • MAGNESIUM OXIDE, -325 MESH, 99+%
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Magnesium oxide Chemical Properties

Melting point:
2852 °C (lit.)
Boiling point:
3600 °C
refractive index 
Flash point:
storage temp. 
no restrictions.
5 M HCl: 0.1 M at 20 °C, clear, colorless
Specific Gravity
wh. powd. or cryst., odorless
10.3 (H2O, 20℃)(saturated solution)
1.3 ∞ 10*15 (ρ/μΩ.cm)
Water Solubility 
6.2 mg/L (20 ºC), reacts
Air Sensitive
Crystal Structure
λ: 260 nm Amax: ≤0.040
λ: 280 nm Amax: ≤0.025
Dielectric constant
Exposure limits
ACGIH: TWA 10 mg/m3
OSHA: TWA 15 mg/m3
NIOSH: IDLH 750 mg/m3
Stable. Incompatible with bromine trifluoride, bromine trichloride, phosphorus pentachloride.
CAS DataBase Reference
1309-48-4(CAS DataBase Reference)
NIST Chemistry Reference
Magnesium monoxide(1309-48-4)
EPA Substance Registry System
Magnesium oxide (1309-48-4)

Safety Information

HS Code 
Hazardous Substances Data
1309-48-4(Hazardous Substances Data)
TCLo inhalation in human: 400mg/m3
750 mg/m3



Magnesium oxide Usage And Synthesis

Chemical Properties

Magnesium oxide is a typical alkaline earth metal oxide, chemical formula MgO. White powder, melting point 2852 ℃, boiling point 3600 ℃, the relative density of 3.58 (25 ℃). It is soluble in acid and ammonium salt solution. Its slow action with water can produce magnesium hydroxide. It can be dissolved in carbon dioxide aqueous solution to produce magnesium bicarbonate. In the air, it can gradually absorb moisture and carbon dioxide. Heating releases irritating fumes. Magnesite (MgCO3), dolomite (MgCO3 ? CaCO3) and seawater are the main raw materials for the production of magnesium oxide.

Production of Magnesium Oxide

Thermal decomposition of magnesite or dolomite generates magnesium oxide. Magnesium hydroxide precipitate is obtained first by treating seawater with hydrated lime; magnesium oxide is obtained by burning magnesium hydroxide. Alternatively, we can take the magnesium chloride lumps or brine after bromination as raw material during the comprehensive utilization of seawater; add sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate to generate magnesium hydroxide or basic magnesium carbonate precipitation, and then burn to obtain magnesium oxide. At present, China mainly uses magnesite, dolomite, brine or halogen as raw material.
Magnesium oxide accounts for the largest amount of magnesium compounds, accounting for about 3/4 of the total magnesium industry. Magnesia made at temperatures below 900 ° C is light magnesia with low density, having large specific surface area and strong absorbability. Can be used as a catalyst, rubber filler and improve the performance of rubber accelerator. Mixing with magnesium chloride solution can make magnesia cement. It can also be used as flame retardant for building materials. It can be medically used as antacids and laxatives for the treatment of hyperacidity and stomach and duodenal ulcer disease, often combined with calcium carbonate easy to cause constipation. For animal feed additives and plant fertilizers. The light magnesium oxide obtained at 950 ~ 1050 ℃has high density with particle distribution having a certain range and being easier to hydrate.
Use it to react with the silica on the silicon steel surface at high temperature to produce magnesium silicate film-like product; it can be used as a silicon steel separator to prevent the sintering of silicon steel upon high-temperature sintering. The heavy magnesium oxide prepared at high temperature of 1500-1800 ℃ has high density, small specific surface area, be difficult to be decomposed by heat, has low chemical activity, not easily to react with acid and low hydration rate. It can be used as high temperature refractory materials and the binder during manufacturing refractory crucible and the furnace lining.


  • Light magnesium oxide is used in ceramics, enamel, refractory crucible, refractory bricks, etc., also used as polishing agent, binder, paint and paper filler, neoprene accelerator, activator. In medicine, it can be used as antacids, laxatives, for the treatment of hyperacidity and duodenal ulcer disease, but also for glass, phenolic, plastics and other industries.
  • Dead-roasted magnesium oxide, namely magnesite, has granular type and brick type, being widely used as the refractory materials of steel furnace, cement kiln and glass furnace.
  • Alkaline granular refractory, mainly used for metal refining industry, with massive refractory for the furnace, or granular material for maintenance; Use spray, coating method to have it attached to the furnace wall in order to enhance the furnace fire resistance.
  • Magnesium oxide produce a positive charge inside the water with most of the suspended material being negatively charged, acting absorption role, can improve the filtration effect.

Industrial production of light magnesium oxide

In the salinization industry of sea salt, it is mainly used of bitter brine, heavy brine and high temperature salt as raw materials to produce light magnesium carbonate or light magnesium oxide. Industrialized production methods include soda ash method, lime and carbon ammonia.
(1) Soda ash process include: 1. Ingredients 2. Reaction 3. Washing 4. Pyrolysis 5. Filter 6.Roasting 7. Crushed packaging. Soda ash production of light magnesium carbonate or light magnesium oxide has mature technology, higher product quality. However, consumption of soda ash, fresh water consumption is also large.
(2) Lime method uses lime milk instead of soda ash. Its reaction with magnesium chloride in brine to generate magnesium hydroxide, followed by carbonation using carbon dioxide gas, generating magnesium bicarbonate. When using the lime method, the sulfate in the brine should be minimized, otherwise large deposits of calcium sulphate are formed and mixed in the product. The advantage of this method is the use of lime instead of soda ash, reducing costs. The disadvantage is that the process and equipment is more complicated than soda ash method, and by-produces large number of CaCl2 solution to be managed.
(3) Raw materials of carbon ammonia method are the high concentrations of bitter brine, brine or salt immersion thick solution. Carbon ammonia used is ammonia bicarbonate, carbonized ammonia or sending ammonia and carbon dioxide gas directly into the brine, with carbon ammonia instead of soda ash being reacted with the magnesium chloride or magnesium sulfate in the brine to generate the corresponding magnesium carbonate. The reaction is as follows:
1. Brine containing MgCl2 and MgSO4 reacts with NH4HCO3 solution: MgCl2 + 2NH4HCO3 = Mg (HCO3) 2 + 2NH4Cl MgSO4 + 2NH4HCO3 = Mg (HCO3) 2+ (NH4) 2SO4
2. Directly send ammonia and carbon dioxide to the brine.
3. The generated MgCO3 • 3H2O and Mg (HCO3) 2 are subject to pyrolysis to generate alkaline magnesium carbonate: Mg (HCO3) 2 + 2H2O = MgCO3 • 3H2O + CO2 ↑ 5 {MgCO3.3H2O} = 4MgCO3.Mg H2O + CO2 ↑ + 10H2O
4. Alkaline magnesium carbonate is roasted to generate light magnesium oxide: 4MgCO3.Mg (OH) 2.4H2O = 5MgO + 4CO2 ↑ + 5H2O
Control of carbon ammonia process: 1. Raw material concentration and reaction temperature 2. Pyrolysis temperature; 3. Dehydration, washing and drying; 4. Roasting; 5. Mother liquor treatment.
Compared with the soda ash method, the production of light magnesium carbonate and light magnesium oxide by the carbon ammonia process is simple, the product has a high specific volume, and the supply channel of the ammonium bicarbonate is more and the cost is lower. However, the mother liquor evaporation and concentration process is of high energy consumption.


Magnesium oxide is mildly irritating to the conjunctiva and nasal mucosa. Vapors can cause ulcer disease. Dust can cause breathing problems, chest pain, coughing, diffusive interstitial fibrosis and emphysema. The maximum allowable concentration in the United States is 10 mg / m3.

Usage limit

FAO / WHO (1984): milk powder 10 g / kg; cream powder 1 g / kg (both limited for vending machines).
FDA, § 184.143l, 2000: use GMP as limit.
Japan limits its usage for adsorption.


Magnesium oxide (MgO,1309-48-4) is used as a lining for steel furnaces, as a component in ceramics, as food additives and pharmaceuticals, and to make strong window glass, fertilizers, paper, and rubber manufacturing.


Magnesium oxide (MgO), or magnesia, is a white hygroscopic solid mineral, often found as a powder, which occurs naturally as periclase and is a source of magnesium . It has an empirical formula of MgO and consists of a lattice of Mg2+ ions and O2? ions held together by ionic bonding. Magnesium oxide is only very slightly soluble in water but in aqueous media combines quickly with water to form magnesium hydroxide. The majority of magnesium oxide produced today is obtained from the calcination of naturally occurring minerals, magnesite, MgCO3, being the most common. Other important sources of magnesium oxide are seawater, underground deposits of brine and deep salt beds from which magnesium hydroxide [Mg(OH)2] is processed. In medicine, magnesium oxide can be used as an antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, or acid indigestion, as a laxative for short-term, rapid emptying of the bowel (before surgery, for example) and as a mineral supplement used to prevent and treat low amounts of magnesium in the blood. Besides, magnesium oxide also has many nonmedicinal uses. Caustic calcined magnesia is used in a wide range of industrial applications e.g. plastics, rubber, adhesives and acid neutralization. Magnesium oxide with lower chemical activity can be used for fertilizers and animal feed. Dead-burned magnesia and finally fused magnesia can be used for a variety of refractory and electrical applications e.g. furnace lining, crucibles and fireproofing boarding.

Chemical Properties

white or light grey powder

Chemical Properties

Magnesium oxide forms a finely divided white particulate dispersed in air.

Chemical Properties

Two forms of magnesium oxide exist: a bulky form termed light magnesium oxide and a dense form termed heavy magnesium oxide. The USP 32 and JP XV define both forms in a single monograph, while the BP 2009 and PhEur 6.4 have separate monographs for each form. For the heavy variety, 15 g has an apparent volume before settling of not more than 60 mL; for the light variety, 15 g has an apparent volume before settling of not more than 100mL as defined by the BP 2009 and PhEur 6.4.
Both forms of magnesium oxide occur as fine, white, odorless powders. Magnesium oxide possesses a cubic crystal structure, though the BP 2009 and PhEur 6.4 describe the appearance of light magnesium oxide as an amorphous powder.

Chemical Properties

A very bulky, white powder known as light magnesium oxide or a relatively dense, white powder known as heavy magnesium oxide. Five g of light magnesium oxide occupies a volume of approximately 40 to 50 mL, while 5 g of heavy magnesium oxide occupies a volume of approximately 10 to 20 mL. It is practically insoluble in water and is insoluble in alcohol. It is soluble in dilute acids.

Physical properties

White ceramics, with a high reflective index in the visible and near-UV regions. Used as linings in steel furnaces. Crucible container for fluoride melts. Very slowly soluble in pure water but soluble in diluted strong mineral acids. Exhibits outstanding corrosion resistance in liquid metals Mg, Li, and Na. Readily attacked by molten metals Be, Si, Ti, Zr, Nb, and Ta. MgO reacts with water, CO2 , and diluted acids. Maximum service temperature 2400°C. Transmittance of 80% and n=1.75 in IR region 7 to 300 μm.


MgO is an efficient moisture absorbent used by many libraries for preserving books. It is also one of the raw materials for making cement in dry process plants; specifically, Portland cement. If too much of MgO is added, the cement may become expansive. In medicine, magnesium oxide is used for relief of heartburn and sore stomach, as an antacid, magnesium supplement, and as a short-term laxative. It is also used to improve symptoms of indigestion. Side effects of magnesium oxide may include nausea and cramping.


manufacture of refractory crucibles, fire bricks, magnesia cements and boiler scale compounds, "powdered" oils, casein glue. Reflector in optical instruments; white color standard. Insulator at low temp.


Absorbant for colorants prior to determination; preparation of Eschka's reagent.


Magnesium Oxide is a source of magnesium which functions as a nutrient and dietary supplement. it exists as a bulky white powder termed light magnesium oxide or as a dense white powder known as heavy magnesium oxide. it is practically insoluble in water and is insoluble in alcohol.


Two forms are produced, one a light, fluffy material prepared by a relatively low-temperature dehydration of the hydroxide, the other a dense material made by high-temperature furnacing of the oxide after it has been formed from the carbonate or hydroxide.

Production Methods

Magnesium oxide occurs naturally as the mineral periclase. It can be manufactured by many processes. Limestone containing the mineral dolomite is calcinated at high temperatures to produce dolime, which then reacts with magnesium chloride-rich sea water to produce magnesium hydroxide and calcium chloride.The magnesium hydroxide is then calcinated to produce magnesium oxide and water. In another process, mined magnesite (MgCO3) is calcinated to produce magnesium oxide and carbon dioxide. Purification methods include crushing and size separation, heavymedia heavymedia separation, and froth flotation. Producing magnesium oxide from sea water is a process that involves heating magnesium chloride concentrated brine from the Dead Sea. The magnesium chloride decomposes into magnesium oxide and hydrochloric acid.Magnesium oxide may also be produced by the thermal decomposition of magnesium chloride, magnesium sulfate, magnesium sulfite, nesquehonite, and the basic carbonate 5MgO·4CO2·5H2O. Purification of the magnesium oxide produced through thermal degradation is carried out by filtration or sedimentation.


Magnesium oxide is easily formed by burning magnesium metal ribbon. Mg oxidizes and emits a bright white light, rich in ultraviolet and hard to extinguish. Extreme care must be taken if MgO is to be prepared by this method. Magnesia is a white solid mineral that occurs naturally as “Periclase” and is used as a source of magnesium metal. Magnesium oxide is hygroscopic in nature and care must be taken to protect it from moisture. It reacts with water and forms the hydroxide:
However, this reaction can be reversed by heating it to remove moisture.

General Description

Finely divided white particulate dispersed in air. (Note: Exposure may occur when magnesium is burned, thermally cut, or welded upon.).

Reactivity Profile

Phosphorus pentachloride and magnesium oxide react with brilliant incandescence [Mellor 8:1016. 1946-1947]. The oxide is incompatible with interhalogens such as bromine pentafluoride, etc.


Toxic by inhalation of fume. Upper respiratory tract irritant, and metal fume fever. Questionable carcinogen.

Health Hazard

Magnesium oxide fume is an irritant of the eyes and nose.

Agricultural Uses

Magnesia is a term used for magnesium oxide (MgO). Magnesite, caustic-calcium magnesite, dead-burned magnesite and synthetic magnesite are also loosely used as synonyms for magnesia. Magnesium oxide is used in agricultural applications for animal feed and fertilizer; in the United States, these applications represent about 20%–25% of the total annual caustic-calcined magnesia shipment. Magnesium serves as a structural part of the chlorophyll molecule, a compound necessary for plant photosynthesis. Without sufficient magnesium, either from the soil or from fertilizer application, plants can die. Grazing ruminants, such as cattle and sheep, require magnesium in their diet to guard ag ainst hypomagnesia, also known as grass tetany, a potentially fatal disease.

Pharmaceutical Applications

Magnesium oxide is used as an alkaline diluent in solid-dosage forms to modify the pH of tablets.It can be added to solid-dosage forms to bind excess water and keep the granulation dry. In combination with silica, magnesium oxide can be used as an auxiliary glidant. It is also used as a food additive and as an antacid, either alone or in conjunction with aluminum hydroxide. Magnesium oxide is additionally used as an osmotic laxative and a magnesium supplement to treat deficiency states.

Industrial uses

Magnesium oxide (MgO) is a synthetic mineralproduced in electric arc furnaces or by sinteringof amorphous powder (periclase). Refractoryapplications consume a large quantity of MgO.Both brick and shapes are fabricated at leastpartially of sintered grain for use primarily inthe metal-processing industries. Heating unitinsulation is another major application for periclase.Principal advantages of periclase are itsthermal conductivity and electrical resistivity atelevated temperatures.
Specialty crucibles and shapes also are fabricatedfrom MgO. These are used in pyrometallurgicaland other purifying processes for specialtymetals. Both slip-casting and pressingtechniques are employed to manufactureshapes.
Thermocouple insulation comprises stillanother outlet for periclase. Since most of thesego into nuclear applications, a high-purity productis required. MgO is also an important glazeconstituent.
Single crystals of MgO have received attentionbecause of their use in ductile ceramic studies.Extreme purity is required in this area. Periclasewindows are also of potential interest ininfrared applications because of their transmissioncharacteristics.

Clinical Use

U.S. Pharmacopoeia (USP)-grade caustic-calcined  magnesia can be used in pharmaceutical applications. In the food industry, caustic-calcined magnesia is used in  sugar refining for neutralization of raw cane and beet juices and to  reduce scaling in juice heaters, evaporators, juice lines, and other  equipment.

Safety Profile

Inhalation of the fumes can produce a febrile reaction and leucocytosis in humans. Questionable carcinogen with experimental tumorigenic data. Violent reaction or ignition in contact with interhalogens (e.g., bromine pentafluoride, chlorine trifluoride), Incandescent reaction with phosphorus pentachloride. See also MAGNESIUM COMPOUNDS.


Magnesium oxide is widely used in oral formulations as an excipient and as a therapeutic agent. Therapeutically, 250–500mg is administered orally as an antacid and 2–5g as an osmotic laxative. Magnesium oxide is generally regarded as a nontoxic material when employed as an excipient, although adverse effects, due to its laxative action, may occur if high doses are ingested orally.

Potential Exposure

Used in oil refining, pulp and paper mills; tire manufacturing; in the manufacture of refractory crucibles; fire bricks; magnesia cements and boiler scale compounds. Exposure may occur when magnesium is burned, thermally cut, or welded upon.


Magnesium oxide is stable at normal temperatures and pressures. However, it forms magnesium hydroxide in the presence of water. Magnesium oxide is hygroscopic and rapidly absorbs water and carbon dioxide on exposure to the air, the light form more readily than the heavy form.
The bulk material should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.


UN1418 Magnesium, powder or Magnesium alloys, powder Hazard Class: 4.3; Labels: 4.3-Dangerous when wet material, 4.2-Spontaneously combustible materia


Violent reaction with halogens/interhalogens, chlorine trifluoride, bromine pentalfluoride; strong acids. Phosphorus pentachloride and magnesium oxide react with brilliant incandescence (Mellor 8:1016. 19461947). May ignite and explode when heated with sublimed sulfur, magnesium powder, or aluminum powder


Magnesium oxide is a basic compound and as such can react with acidic compounds in the solid state to form salts such as Mg(ibuprofen)2 or degrade alkaline-labile drugs.Adsorption of various drugs onto magnesium oxide has been reported, such as antihistamines, antibiotics (especially tetracyclines),salicylates, atropine sulfate,hyoscyamine hydrobromide, paracetamol, chloroquine; and anthranilic acid derivatives have been reported to adsorb onto the surface of magnesium oxide. Magnesium oxide can also complex with polymers, e.g. Eudragit RS, to retard drug release and can interact in the solid state with phenobarbitone sodium. Magnesium oxide can also reduce the bioavailability of phenytoin,trichlormethiazide,and antiarrhythmics.The presence of magnesium oxide can also have a negative impact on the solid-state chemical stability of drugs, such as diazepam.Magnesium oxide has been used as a stabilizer for omeprazole due to its strong waterproofing effect.

Regulatory Status

GRAS listed. Accepted for use as a food additive in Europe. Included in the FDA Inactive Ingredients Database (oral capsules, tablets, and buccal). Included in nonparenteral medicines licensed in the UK. Included in the Canadian List of Acceptable Non-medicinal Ingredients.



Magnesium oxide Preparation Products And Raw materials

Raw materials

Preparation Products

Magnesium oxideSupplier

Weifang Hongyuan Chemical Co., Ltd Gold
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Product Name:Magnesium oxide
Nanjing XFNano Material Tech Co., Ltd Gold
025-68256996 15261867733
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Shanghai Aladdin Bio-Chem Technology Co.,LTD Gold
400-6206333 18521732826;
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Tianjin Guangfu Technology Development Co. LTD Gold
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Purity:SP Package:500g
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4001650900 13817534909
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Product Name:Magnesium oxide
Purity:AR Package:500g;2.5kg