Magnesia

Magnesia Magnesia or magnesium oxide (MgO) is a white hygroscopic solid mineral that occurs naturally as periclase. It forms magnesium hydroxide in the presence of water [MgO + H2O = Mg(OH)2], but this reaction can be reversed by heating magnesium hydroxide to separate moisture. Magnesium (Mg) is the eighth most abundant element and constitutes about 2 percent of the crust of the earth. It is the third most plentiful element dissolved in seawater, with a concentration averaging 0.13 %. Although magnesium is found in over 60 minerals, only dolomite, magnesite, brucite, carnallite, and olivine are of commercial importance. Magnesium and magnesium compounds are produced from seawater, well and lake brines and bitterns, as well as from the above mentioned minerals. Magnesite (MgCO3), the naturally occurring carbonate of magnesium (Mg) is one of the key natural sources for the production of magnesia (MgO) and subsequently fused magnesia. It is the world’s  largest source of magnesia. It contains a theoretical maximum magnesia content of 47.6 %. It occurs in two distinct physical forms namely (i)  macro-crystalline and (ii) crypto-crystalline. Crypto-crystalline magnesite is generally of a higher purity than macro-crystalline ore, but tends to occur in smaller deposits than the macro-crystalline form. The word magnesite literally refers only to the natural mineral, but common usage applies this name to three other types of materials, dead burned magnesia (DBM), electro fused magnesia and calcined magnesia also called caustic calcined magnesia. Often magnesia word is replaced by magnesite in these products. These products of magnesite often differ mainly in density and crystal development that results from different levels of heat application. The three products of magnesite are shown in Fig 1. Fig 1 Products of magnesite  Magnesia is an alkaline earth metal oxide. Magnesium oxide is normally produced by the calcinations of...