Application

General Description

Magnesium carbonate, MgCO3, is a white solid that occurs in nature as a mineral. Several hydrated and basic forms of magnesium carbonate also exist as minerals. In addition, MgCO3 has a variety of applications.

The most common magnesium carbonate forms are the anhydrous salt called magnesite (MgCO3) and the di, tri, and pentahydrates known as barringtonite (MgCO3·2H2O), nesquehonite (MgCO3·3H2O), and lansfordite (MgCO3·5H2O), respectively. Some basic forms such as artinite (MgCO3·Mg(OH)2·3H2O), hydromagnestite (4MgCO3·Mg(OH)2·4H2O), and dypingite (4MgCO3· Mg(OH)2·5H2O) also occur as minerals. Magnesite consists of white trigonal crystals. The anhydrous salt is practically insoluble in water, acetone, and ammonia. All forms of magnesium carbonate dissolve in acids. Magnesium carbonate crystallizes in the calcite structure wherein Mg2+ is surrounded by six oxygen atoms. The dihydrate has a triclinic structure, while the trihydrate has a monoclinic structure. The pentahydrate is a white crystalline solid with monoclinic crystals.

Magnesite and dolomite minerals are used to produce magnesium metal and basic refractory bricks. MgCO3 is also used in flooring, fireproofing, fire extinguishing compositions, cosmetics, dusting powder, and toothpaste. Other applications are as filler material, smoke suppressant in plastics, a reinforcing agent in neoprene rubber, a drying agent, a laxative to loosen the bowels, and color retention in foods. In addition, high purity magnesium carbonate is used as antacid and as an additive in table salt to keep it free flowing.

The Uses of Magnesium Carbonate

Produce Magnesium Metal and Basic Refractory Bricks

Magnesite and dolomite minerals are used to produce magnesium metal and basic refractory bricks. MgCO3 is also used in flooring, fireproofing, fire extinguishing compositions, cosmetics, dusting powder, and toothpaste. Other applications are as filler material, smoke suppressant in plastics, a reinforcing agent in neoprene rubber, a drying agent, a laxative to loosen the bowels, and color retention in foods. In addition, high purity magnesium carbonate is used as antacid and as an additive in table salt to keep it free flowing.

Pharmaceuticals Preparations

Carbomag Pharmaceutical grades: Magnesium Carbonate is used in pharmaceuticals preparations as a laxative and gastric antacid and as mild abrasive ingredient in toothpastes or dentifrices. In food application it is used as nutritional supplements, flow agent, carrier and anti-caking agent, drying agent, color retention agent and as magnesium source in soft drinks. Light Magnesium Carbonate is used in cosmetic application such as talcum powders, soap manufacture giving moisture stability, fragrance retention and flow control.

Mineral Filler and Coating Agent

Carbomag Technical grades: Magnesium Carbonate is used as mineral filler and coating agent in paper industry for whiteness and consistency of the paper and as a combustion regulator in cigarette paper. Magnesium Carbonate is also used as stabilizer in the automotive PVC plastisols and as reinforcing agent in rubber and plastic. It can be used as a rheological modifier, flattening agent and translucent filler in the printing inks industry and in the preparation of Magnesium salts.

Preventive Measures

Small Spill:
Use appropriate tools to put the spilled solid in a convenient waste disposal container. Finish cleaning by spreading water on the contaminated surface and dispose of according to local and regional authority requirements.

Large Spill:
Use a shovel to put the material into a convenient waste disposal container. Finish cleaning by spreading water on the contaminated surface and allow to evacuate through the sanitary system.

Precautions: Do not breathe dust. Keep away from incompatibles such as oxidizing agents, acids.

Storage: Keep container tightly closed. Keep container in a cool, well-ventilated area.