Magnesium is the chemical element of the periodic table whose atomic number is 12, it is represented by Mg. It is the ninth most abundant element in the earth’s crust and the third found dissolved in seawater.
Magnesium ion is important for every living cell. Pure metal is not found in nature. When produced from magnesium salts, the alkaline earth metal is used as an alloying element. This element is not in a free state in nature, i.e. as a metal, but rather forms many compounds, mainly salts and oxides.
- The main use of this metal is as an aluminum alloying element, used in magnesium and aluminum alloys for beverage containers. Magnesium alloys, mainly aluminum-magnesium alloys, are used as components in automobile tires and various machinery.
- Magnesium compounds, mainly its oxide, are used as a refractory material for furnaces used to produce steel, iron, cement, glass, non-ferrous metals, as well as in the construction, chemistry and agriculture.
- To obtain nodular cast iron from silicon, iron and magnesium as it is a nodulizing and spheroidizing agent of graphite.
- In conventional propellants, it functions as an additive.
- Magnesium milk, also called hydroxide, sulfate, chloride and citrate, is used in medicine.
- It is a reducing agent making it possible to obtain uranium and other metals thanks to its salts.
- In pyrotechnics, photographic flashes and incendiary bombs for the light that their combustion generates.
- Magnesium carbonate powder is used by gymnasts, athletes, and weightlifters to increase their grip on objects and objects they train with. For this reason it is extremely important that in difficult climbing the sweat from the climber’s fingers and hands is dried in order to improve the grip on the rock. This is carried in a bag which is tied at the waist.
Magnesium is insoluble, moderately strong, light, and its tint is silvery and white. In contact with air, it becomes less shiny. It differs from other alkali metals in that it does not need to be stored in oxygen-free environments, as it is protected by a thin layer of oxide which is characterized by being difficult to remove and very impermeable.
Similar to what happens with its accompanying bottom element in the periodic table, i.e. calcium. Magnesium reacts with water at room temperature, but more slowly. When immersed in water, small bubbles of hydrogen form on the surface of the metal. However, when sprayed, its reaction is much faster.
Uses of magnesium in medicine
Magnesium hydroxide is normally used as a laxative or as an antacid. It is achieved when water is mixed with magnesium oxide. The chemical formula is: MgO + H2O → Mg(OH)2
Magnesium is used to solve digestive problems related to transit through the intestines, such as irritable bowel syndrome. This occurs in spas that have water rich in magnesium and in which urinary, digestive and anti-stress treatments are used. It is an extremely essential element in the daily diet.
When it comes to osteoporosis, it is very important to ingest calcium and magnesium. Consuming magnesium at night causes sleepiness, it is also recommended in case of hypertension. It is generally effective on certain occasions against blepharospasm when taken in addition to magnesium chloride. People with kidney failure consume magnesium under medical supervision. The element is beneficial in the coronary vasodilator effect that patients with calcium blockers have.
Precautions for use of Magnesium
Powdered magnesium is highly flammable. In heat and in air, it reacts quickly. This also happens with acids which produce hydrogen when they react with magnesium, so it must be handled with great care. If magnesium causes a fire, it should not be extinguished with water but with sodium chloride, dry sand or class D extinguishers. It is very reactive.
Electron configuration of magnesium
Magnesium has 2 protons in its nucleus, more than neon. This element has 12 electrons in total. Knowing that the magnesium ion loses 2 electrons in its valence shell, the Electron configuration of this element is represented as follows: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2. The simplified abbreviated version of the Electron configuration of magnesium is written as follows: [Ne] 3s 2.
This notation is summarized when the result of the reference of the Electron configuration belonging to the noble gas closest to the element is obtained. In the case of magnesium, the rare gas that meets these characteristics is neon.