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Uses of Magnesium Sulfate

Writer:Jason.chengDate:2016-10-04 16:56:14

Uses of Magnesium Sulfate

Magnesium sulfate is an important chemical compound. Its constituent elements are magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. It is denoted by the chemical formula MgSO4. Basically, it can be identified as a colorless, odorless, solid substance. This naturally occurring mineral is mostly found in hydrated state. This is because it tends to absorb water from the atmosphere. One of its most widely available hydrated form is magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, also known as Epsom salt. It has 7 molecules of water of crystallization and is represented by MgSO4.7H2O. 

General Uses

One of its major uses is in agriculture and gardening where it is used as a fertilizer. It is often applied to magnesium deficient soil to make it fertile. As it is soluble in water, it is readily absorbed into the soil. Magnesium thus obtained is good for plants because it is a key component of chlorophyll molecule that absorbs sunlight and utilizes the light energy for the process of manufacture of food for plants during photosynthesis. It is required mostly for crops like tomatoes, potatoes and roses which need plenty of magnesium for proper growth. 

Magnesium sulfate heptahydrate or Epsom salt needs to be added in marine aquarium after frequent interval of time. This is done to prevent deficiency of magnesium in the saltwater. Anhydrous magnesium sulfate acts as an excellent dehydrating agent in chemical synthesis of organic compounds. Anhydrous form is used in this process mainly because it is hygroscopic in nature and has affinity for water. Another use is as a coagulating agent in soy milk for making tofu.