Magnesium Chloride is a naturally occurring salt that consists of magnesium and chlorine. This salt is odorless, colorless and has a bitter taste. It can be obtained from sea water and is also obtained from ancient seabeds. It is many important applications in a variety of industries.
Uses of magnesium chloride
- Magnesium chloride is used to make many other magnesium compounds, including pure magnesium metal.
- One of the most important uses of magnesium chloride is as a de-icer or anti-icing agent. It is preferred over the traditionally used salt (sodium chloride or table salt), because it is less toxic to plant life and doesn’t cause rusting. It is also sold to individuals and businesses for de-icing driveways and sidewalks. This same technique is also used to control dust and erosion on unpaved roads and indoor arenas.
- Magnesium chloride is also commonly used as a coagulant in the production of tofu. In Japan the substance is known as “nigari”, which comes from the Japanese word for bitter.
- Magnesium is also an essential additive to marine aquariums. If the magnesium level falls too low the pH will drop and make it difficult to maintain the correct levels of calcium.
- Magnesium chloride is used in the medical and veterinary industries for magnesium supplements. It is also used as an ingredient in baby formula. Magnesium is essential for many bodily functions. It can also be used as an anaesthetic for some species of crustaceans, bivalves and cephalopods.
- It is also used in the manufacture of paper, cement, fireproofing agents, brine, textiles and cements. When mixed with magnesium oxide it forms an extremely hard material called Sorel cement.