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Magnesium sulfate, or MgSO4, is a common and useful organic chemical. It is an odorless white crystalline solid that is readily soluble in water. This form of magnesium is commonly used as a desiccant in organic synthesis. Anhydrous magnesium sulfate is also an important ingredient in cosmetics and bath salts.
Magnesium sulfate is formed by the reaction of sulphur dioxide and air. The resulting product is a white crystalline substance with a density of 2.66 kg/m3. Since it is a polar organic compound, it is soluble in most solvents. A variety of industrial uses include fertilizer, textiles, brewing, and cement. In addition, anhydrous magnesium sulfate is often used as a feed additive.
In addition to its use in agriculture and chemical synthesis, magnesium sulfate is also useful as a trace element supplement in feed. It is particularly compatible with most organic compounds.
Magnesium sulfate has been found in nature as mineral epsomite. Epsom salt is made from the bitter saline spring in Epsom, Surrey, England. Some analogues of the salt are sanderite and kieserite. However, only the latter was identified as a hydrate, enneahydrate, only recently.
Industrial use of magnesium sulfate begins by adding it to water in a dissolution tank. Once it has dissolved, the hydrated solid is removed by filtration. The resulting magnesium sulfate is then dried and granulated to form anhydrous magnesium sulfate.
Magnesium sulfate heptahydrate is a white crystalline crystal that is easily soluble in boiling water. It is also soluble in glycerol. It is a major component in brewer’s salt and in the production of beer. Other uses of anhydrous magnesium sulfate are in fireproofing, ceramics, and saline laxatives.