Magnesium oxide, also called magnesia, is a chemical compound made from magnesium and oxygen. Magnesium oxide occurs naturally in the environment, but it is also possible to create it by burning magnesium ribbon in air. When the magnesium burns it oxidizes, and the by-product is magnesium oxide. It is very stable at high temperatures, which is one of the reasons it is a useful substance in many industries.
Uses of magnesium oxide
- Magnesium oxide is capable of removing moisture from the air. This means that it is often used for drying the storage areas for books in libraries. This same property is utilized by rock climbers, gymnasts, weightlifters and pool players who use it to keep their hands dry. It is also able to neutralizing sulfur oxide acids, which means that it is often used for deacidifying books.
- Another major use of magnesium oxide is in the medical industry. It is often used for the relief of heartburn, sore stomach, indigestion or acid reflux. It is also a suitable magnesium supplement and laxative.
- Wall boards can be constructed from cement containing magnesium oxide to replace the traditional wall boards. They are strong and offer resistance to fire, moisture, mold and mildew. Portland cement also contains magnesium oxide.
- It is also used to insulate certain types of electrical cables. It is also used as a protective coating in plasma Tv’s.
- Magnesium oxide is also used in tubular heating elements found in many stoves, ovens and coffee makers.
- It is also added to animal feed to increase the magnesium content.
- It is packed around the radioactive waste material from nuclear weapons to prevent it from leeching out.