Hydrated magnesium sulfate occurs in nature as the minerals kieserite and epsomite. The salt is mined in large scale from these and other naturally occurring minerals. The salt also is prepared in the laboratory by the action of sulfuric acid on magnesium oxide, hydroxide, or carbonate followed by evaporation and crystallization:
MgO + H2SO4 → MgSO4 + H2O
Mg(OH)2 + H2SO4 → MgSO4 + 2H2O
MgCO3 + H2SO4 → MgSO4 + CO2 + H2O
Crystallization at temperatures between 1.8 and 48°C yields heptahydrate, MgSO4•7H2O. Below 1.8°C, a dodecahydrate , MgSO4•12H2O crystallizes out. Above 48°C crystals of lower hydrates form. The anhydrous salt is obtained by heating the heptahydrate at about 500°C in a rotary drum; or dehydrating above 150°C in the presence of sulfuric acid.
ChEBI: A magnesium salt having sulfate as the counterion.
Magnesium sulfate is used widely in several industries including fertilizer, cement, textile, chemicals, and medicine. In the cement industry, it is used in manufacturing oxysulfate cement. In medicine, it is an analgesic and cathartic. An important application of anhydrous magnesium sulfate in the laboratory involves drying organic solvents required for syntheses and GC analysis.
In the textile industry, magnesium sulfate is used in finishing composition for dressing cotton; for weighting and sizing silk; as a mordant for fixing basic dyestuffs on wool; and in fireproofing fabrics. It also is a component of certain types of electrolytic plating baths; of various photographic solutions; of cosmetic lotions. It is a catalyst carrier; a dietary supplement in cattle feed; a coagulant for rubber and plastic; and is used in making citric acid and several magnesium salts, such as magnesium stearate.
Crystallise it from warm H2O (1g/mL) by cooling. Dry the heptahydrate (Epsom salt) at ~250o until it loses 25% of its weight. Its solubility in H2O is 36% at 20o, 55% at 60o and 74% at 100o; above 110o the solubility decreases with rise of temperature. Store it in a sealed container.
Magnesium sulfate is an inorganic salt (chemical compound) containing magnesium, sulfur and oxygen, with the formula MgSO4. It is strongly hygroscopic and often encountered as the heptahydrate sulfate mineral epsomite (MgSO4•7H2O), commonly called Epsom salt. And the monohydrate, MgSO4•H2O, is found as the mineral kieserite. In gardening and other agriculture, magnesium sulfate is used to correct a magnesium or sulfur deficiency in soil. In food preparation, magnesium sulfate is used as a brewing salt in beer production or used as a coagulant for making tofu. In chemistry, anhydrous magnesium sulfate is commonly used as a desiccant in organic synthesis due to its affinity for water. For Marine use, magnesium sulfate heptahydrate is used to maintain the magnesium concentration in marine aquaria which contain large amounts of stony corals. For medicine use, it is used in pregnant women to control seizures due to certain complications of pregnancy (eg, severe toxemia) and to control high blood pressure, severe brain function problems (encephalopathy), and seizures in children who have sudden, severe inflammation of the kidneys (acute nephritis). Besides, magnesium sulfate is also used as a laxative to relieve occasional constipation.
Used for immediate control of life-threatening convulsions in the treatment of severe toxemias (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia) of pregnancy and in the treatment of acute nephritis in children. Also indicated for replacement therapy in magnesium deficiency,
Magnesium sulfate (MgS04) is a colorless crystal with a bitter, saline taste. It is soluble in glycerol and used in fireproofing, textile processes, ceramics, cosmetics, and fertilizers.