Magnesium Sulfide Formula

The Chemical Formula of Magnesium Sulfide

Magnesium Sulphide is a simple inorganic compound made up of magnesium and sulphide. The magnesium sulphide formula or formula for magnesium sulfide is given as MgS. It is the chemical formula of magnesium sulphide and one of the best uses to understand its physical importance is the determination of the molecular weight of the compound. The molecular weight of the compound as determined by the magnesium sulphide formula or the formula for magnesium sulfide is 56.38 g/mol. Another interesting property that can be understood by looking at the magnesium sulfide formula is the electron exchange between the two elements. It is clear from the magnesium sulfide formula that magnesium and sulphur form the compound in a 1:1 ratio, hence the two electrons donated by magnesium are taken up by sulphur atoms in maintaining a neutral charge. 

General Properties of Magnesium Sulfide

Typically, magnesium sulphide, having MgS as the magnesium sulfide chemical formula is obtained as slag from the steelmaking process. It is found as a rare mineral in some of the meteorites in the form of mineral niningerite. It is also found in some of the envelopes involving some of the certain carbon stars.


Magnesium sulphide or sulfide represented as MgS (molecular formula for magnesium sulphide) is a white crystalline solid. Usually, magnesium sulfide is found in an impure form which is a brown and a non-crystalline powder. It is generally produced by the industries during the production of metallic iron. The crystalline structure or the combination of atoms as shown by the given image:

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Commonly, as the magnesium sulphide formula or the formula for magnesium sulfide shows that it is made up of magnesium sulphide, hence it is formed by the reaction of sulphur or hydrogen sulfide with magnesium. The crystals of magnesium sulphide have a rock salt structure because it is the most stable phase a magnesium chloride crystal can take. Yet, the crystal of magnesium chloride can take the structure of zinc-blende and wurtzite structure by the process of molecular beam epitaxy. The chemical properties of this compound, MgS the chemical formula of magnesium sulphide or chemical formula of magnesium sulfide, is related to other sulfides such as the ones of sodium, barium or calcium. When magnesium sulphide reacts with oxygen it forms the corresponding sulfate, known as magnesium sulphate. MgS further can react with water in order to produce hydrogen sulphide and magnesium hydroxide. It can produce hydrogen sulphide as it makes contact with moisture. 

Uses of Magnesium Sulfide

Following are Some of the Examples That Show the Applications of Magnesium Sulfide:

  • It is used in the BOS steel making process i.e. the basic oxygen steelmaking process. In the process, sulphur is the first component that is needed to be removed. For removing sulphur, many kilograms of magnesium is used and thus sulphur is removed in the form of magnesium sulphide and is easy to be removed as it keeps floating on the molten iron. 

  • It is used as a semiconductor. MgS (formula of magnesium sulfide) is a wide band-gap direct semiconductor. It produces a blue-green emitter. Because of this wide-bandgap property, magnesium sulphide can be used as a photodetector for the short wavelength of ultraviolet light.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Is Magnesium Sulfide Harmful to Humans?

Ans: Magnesium sulphide is an inorganic compound made up of magnesium and sulphur. It is known to cause eye irritation or corrosion. Exposure to magnesium sulphide can cause serious eye damage due to irritation.

2. Does Magnesium Sulphide Dissolve in Water?

Ans: Typically most of the sulphides that are formed of metals are insoluble in water. There are some exceptions to these cases such as the sulphides of barium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and ammonium. The sulphides of barium, calcium and magnesium are sparingly soluble in water. Thus, magnesium sulphide sparingly dissolves in water. Hence, the magnesium sulfide ionic compound will dissociate into Mg2+ and S2- while sparingly dissolved in water. 

3. Is Magnesium Sulfide a Mixture or a Pure Substance?

Ans: Magnesium sulphide is a pure substance. When magnesium and sulphide react with each other it produces magnesium sulphide. Once magnesium sulphide is formed the molecule in itself is a pure substance and hence it is not a mixture. But if the fillings of magnesium and sulphur are together without reacting then it forms the mixture.