Magnesium Chloride - MgCl2

What is Magnesium Chloride?

MgCl2 can be extracted from sea water or brine and is chemically named as Magnesium Chloride. It is also called Magnesium dichloride or magnesium (II) chloride or Chloromagnesite and has one magnesium (Mg) and two chloride ions (Cl-).

Magnesium dichloride and its salts are ionic halides and appear as thin white to gray granules. It is odourless and is highly soluble in water. It is widely used as a medicine for various cellular activities.

Properties of Magnesium Chloride – MgCl2

MgCl2

Magnesium Chloride

Molecular weight/molar mass of MgCl2

95.211 g/mol (anhydrous)

Density of Magnesium Chloride

2.32 g/cm3 (anhydrous)

Boiling Point of Magnesium Chloride

1,412 °C

Melting Point of Magnesium Chloride

714 °C

Magnesium Chloride structure – MgCl2


Magnesium Chloride structure

MgCl2 Uses (Magnesium Chloride)

  • Magnesium Chloride is used as a precursor magnesium metals.
  • Used for wind erosion, dust control, and soil stabilization.
  • Used in fire extinguishers.
  • Used as a food additive.
  • Used in the manufacturing of paper.
  • Used in making disinfectants.
  • Used as flocculating agent.
  • Used as a catalyst.
  • Used as thread lubricant.

Magnesium Chloride Reactions

  • In the Dow process, magnesium hydroxide reacts with hydrochloric acid to regenerate magnesium chloride. The reaction is as follows:
  • Mg(OH)2(s) + 2 HCl → MgCl2(aq) + 2 H2O(l)

  • MgCl2 as a precursor. The reaction is as follows:
  • MgCl2 → Mg + Cl2

Health hazards

Chloromagnesite is non-combustible but when heated liberates irritating toxic gas or fumes. Inhaling this compound causes severe coughing.

Problems faced in locomotive boilers

Well water consists of dissolved magnesium chloride. It was used in locomotive boilers located on the Trans-Australian Railway and resulted in serious and costly maintenance problems. This problem occurred during the steam era. There was no facility for freshwater watercourse, therefore they had to rely on bore water. The locomotive boilers could last for less than a quarter. The maintenance cost was expensive.

Learn more about the Structure, physical and chemical properties of MgCl2 from the experts at BYJU’S.

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