Magnesium oxide

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Description

A fine, white powdery compound that occurs naturally as the mineral periclase. Magnesium oxide is a highly refractive material that is most often used to manufacture crucibles, ceramic glazes, glass, fire brick, and magnesia cement. It was tried as an abrasive for polishing silver by Wharton et al. (1990) but gave poor results and is not recommended. Magnesium oxide has also been used as a non aqueous alkalization agent for paper.

Synonyms and Related Terms

magnesium oxide; magnesia; magnesian earth; Maglite; Bookkeeper; periclase; calcined brucite

Chemical structure

Magnesium oxide.jpg


Other Properties

Soluble in acids and ammonium salt solutions. Slightly soluble in water (reacts to form magnesium hydroxide).

Composition MgO
CAS 1309-48-4
Melting Point 2800
Density 3.6
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 40.32
Boiling Point 3600

Hazards and Safety

Noncombustible. Toxic by inhalation of fumes.

LINK: International Chemical Safety Card

Additional Information

G.Wharton, S.Lansing, W.Ginell, "A Comparative Study of Silver Cleaning Abrasives" JAIC 29:13-31, 1990. LINK

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 5713