Magnesium Nitrate

Magnesium Nitrate Formula

Magnesium nitrate is a highly water-soluble crystalline. The nitrate compounds are usually soluble in water. The nitrate materials are also known to be the oxidizing agents. When it is mixed with hydrocarbons, the nitrate compounds have a tendency to form the flammable mixture. Nitrates are the excellent precursors for the production of the ultra-high purity compounds and a certain catalyst and the nanoscale materials. All the metallic nitrates are known to be the inorganic salts of a particular given metal cation and the nitrate anion. In this article, we will learn about magnesium nitrate, the magnesium nitrate formula, use of magnesium nitrate, the magnesium nitrate structure, and the health hazards of magnesium nitrate.


What is Magnesium Nitrate?

Mg(NO3)2 is a type of an inorganic nitrate salt of the element magnesium that has a chemical name magnesium nitrate.

Magnesium nitrate is also known as magniosan, magnesium dinitrate or Nntromagnesite. It is widely used in the field of pyrotechnics.

Magnesium dinitrate is a type of hygroscopic and crystalline solid which is white in colour. It is highly soluble in water and ethanol and it occurs naturally in the caverns and mines.


Magnesium Nitrate Structure

The structure of magnesium nitrate is given as follows:

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Properties of Magnesium Nitrate

Magnesium nitrate formula

Mg(NO3)2

Molecular weight of Mg(NO3)2

148.32 g/mol in anhydrous form

Density of magnesium nitrate

2.3 g/cm3

Melting point of magnesium nitrate

129 °C

Boiling point of magnesium nitrate 

330 °C


Preparation of Magnesium Nitrate

Magnesium nitrate is prepared by the reaction of the element magnesium oxide with nitric acid. The reaction is given as follows:

MgO + 2HNO3   --->  Mg(NO3)2 + H2O

This reaction can also be prepared by using magnesium carbonate or hydroxide in the nitric acid.

It can also be prepared by mixing the magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salt with calcium nitrate.

MgSO4 + Ca(NO3)2 → Mg(NO3)2 + CaSO4

Filter off the insoluble calcium sulfate from this mixture for obtaining a solution of Mg(NO3)2. To dry it, you need to heat it gently on a water bath and then cool the concentrated solution. Then use a seed crystal for obtaining crystals of the compound and then remove the excess water using a vacuum.

By adding nitric acid to magnesium oxide, hydroxide or carbonate it will give you magnesium nitrate.

Anhydrous magnesium nitrate can be easily obtained by boiling the hydrated form in the concentrated nitric acid, though this process has not been confirmed yet. Passing nitrogen dioxide through the heated magnesium oxide at 100 °C should also give magnesium nitrate anhydrous and nitric oxide. Another process would be by mixing the anhydrous calcium or barium nitrate that is dissolved in anhydrous methanol or ethanol, with anhydrous magnesium sulfate.


Use of Magnesium Nitrate

  1. Magnesium nitrate is used as the dehydrating agent for preparing concentrated nitric acid.

  2. Magnesium nitrate is also used in the manufacturing of the petrochemicals.

  3. It is used as a desensitizer for the lithographic plates.

  4. It is used for the manufacturing of the ammonium nitrate.

  5. Magnesium nitrate is used in the purification of the nitric acid.

  6. It is used in the industries as a viscosity adjuster.

  7. It is used in the manufacturing of agricultural products.

  8. It is used in the making of toners and colourant products.

  9. It is also used in the process of mining.


Magnesium Nitrate Reaction

Let us take a look at some of the magnesium nitrate reactions.

Magnesium dinitrate reacts with the alkali metal hydroxide for producing the following:

Mg(NO3)2 + 2NaOH ---> Mg(OH)2+ 2 NaNO3

Magnesium nitrate has a higher affinity for water. Hence, heating it would result to decomposition of magnesium oxide, oxygen, and nitrogen oxides.

2Mg(NO3)2 ----> 2MgO  + 4NO2 + O2


Health Hazards of Magnesium Nitrate

Let us take a look at some of the health hazards of magnesium nitrate.

Exposure to magnesium nitrate leads to mild irritation in the mucous membranes. The symptoms of this include the shortness of breath and coughing. Swallowing larger doses of this may result in weakness, dizziness, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and convulsions. When it comes in contact with the skin it leads to pain, redness, and irritation.

On heating, the compound magnesium nitrate leads to the decomposition and it emits toxic fumes of the nitrogen oxides. On contact with the oxidizable compound, it may result in an extremely violent combustion.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Use of Magnesium Nitrate?

Magnesium nitrate is often used in the pyrotechnics and in the manufacturing of the concentrated nitric acid in which it extracts water and the concentrates of the acid vapors to 90 to 95 percent HNO3. It is also used for helping in the process of ammonium nitrate for the coating and prilling.

2. Is Magnesium Nitrate an Acid or a Base?

Magnesium nitrate is a type of a crystalline source that has a higher water solubility for using consistent with the nitrates and a lower pH. The nitrate compounds are generally soluble in water. Also, the nitrate products are known to be the oxidizing agents. The nitrate compounds tend to form a flammable mixture when it is combined with the hydrocarbons.

3. How is Magnesium Nitrate Prepared?

Magnesium nitrate, being highly soluble in water, occurs naturally only in the mines and the caverns as nitromagnesite, in the hexahydrate form. The magnesium nitrate that is used in commerce is made through the reaction of the nitric acid and various other magnesium salts.