Magnesium sulfate - MgSO4

What is Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4)?

MgSO4 is an inorganic salt with a chemical name Magnesium sulfate. It is also known as Sulfuric acid magnesium salt or Magnesium sulfate anhydrous. It is commonly referred to as Epsom salt. Magnesium sulfate is a crystalline solid that has a white appearance and is odorless. It is majorly used as a bath soak to get rid of sore muscles, to ease the pain of sprains and bruises, etc. It also helps in the removal of splinters and is quite effective.

Properties of Magnesium sulfate – MgSO4

MgSO4 Magnesium sulfate
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 120.366 g/mol
Density Anhydrous: 2.66 g/cm3
Taste Bitter taste, Saline
Melting Point 1,124 °C

Structure of MgSO4

The structure of a magnesium sulfate molecule is illustrated below. Note that MgSO4 molecules contain one Mg2+ cation (the magnesium ion) and one SO42- anion (the sulfate anion).

Magnesium sulfate - MgSO4

An ionic bond is formed between the magnesium cation and the sulfate anion in magnesium sulfate.

Uses of Magnesium Sulfate

  • It is used in agriculture to increase the magnesium and sulfur content in the soil.
  • It is used in making beer as a brewing salt.
  • It is used as a coagulant to make tofu.
  • It is used in organic synthesis as a desiccant.
  • Consumption of magnesium sulfate orally as osmotic purgative or saline laxative.
  • Medically it is used in IV (intravenously) to control seizures in pregnant women.

Health Hazards Associated with Magnesium Sulfate

This compound is dangerous when used in a higher dose than that is recommended by your doctor or instructed on the package. A high dosage of this compound causes serious side effects and can also be life-threatening. Abnormally high concentrations of magnesium in plasma can result in a medical condition known as hypermagnesemia.

FAQs

1. Is magnesium sulfate a compound or mixture?
Ans: Magnesium sulfate, MgSO4, is a colorless crystalline substance formed by the sulfur dioxide and air reaction of magnesium hydroxide.

2. Is magnesium sulfate soluble in alcohol?
Ans: Magnesium sulfate heptahydrate is a white, crystalline, or brilliant, usually needle-like crystals. It is readily soluble in water, in boiling water more easily soluble, and in alcohol virtually insoluble.

3. What is the hydrating formula for MgSO4?
Ans: To obtain the mole ratio, divide the moles of water by moles of anhydrate. 5 H2O/1 mole MgSO4 moles = 5:1. To write the equation, use the mole ratio. Because for every 1 mole of MgSO4 there are 5 moles of H2O, the formula is 5H2O MgSO4.

4. What is magnesium sulfate heptahydrate used for?
Ans: One of the main applications of magnesium sulfate is to be used as a fertilizer in farming and gardening. For bath salts, magnesium sulfate is used.

5. How moles are calculated?
Ans: Use the molecular formula to calculate the molar mass; divide the weight of the compound by the compound’s molar mass measured in grams to obtain the number of moles.

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