One of the more common halide salts. Its chemical formula is MgCl2.

Some other chemical facts:

  • Molecular weight: 95.21 g/mol
  • Melting point: 714C
  • Density: 2.23 g/mL
  • Appearance: colorless solid (just like most halites)
  • Hazards: mild skin and eye irritant

Typically extracted from sea and ocean water, magnesium chloride has five main uses:

  1. It is the primary source of pure magnesium. The magnesium is easily extracted from magnesium chloride through electrolysis.
  2. Along the same lines, magnesium chloride is often a major component of vitamin supplements, due to the magnesium contained within. Magnesium is considered an important mineral to the body, particularly for the nervous and muscular systems.
  3. It is used as a de-icing agent in the winter. Liquid magnesium chloride is poured on roads in advance of coming icestorms, preventing the precipitation from freezing on the surfaces. Its major advantage over rock salt is its ease of application, but it also wreaks havoc on electric utilities due to its corrosive powers.
  4. It is the main ingredient of nigari (essentially sea salt) which is used to create tofu in Japan.
  5. It is used to diminish dust and particle interference in areas otherwise susceptible to dust and dirt's effects. As a particularly cheap and effective desiccant, it removes moisture from the air, thereby limiting the air's ability to transport dust and other small particles. This also makes it an ideal chemical component of cement and other particle-based products.