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Magnesium oxide

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Magnesium oxide is a white solid mineral that occurs naturally as periclase and is a source of magnesium. See also oxide. It has an empirical formula of MgO. It is formed by an ionic bond between one magnesium and one oxygen atom.


It is used by many libraries for preserving/deacidifying books, and as an insulator in industrial cables. It is also used as a medication to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, or acid indigestion. Medical uses of Magnesium oxide also include using it as a short-term laxative, or used to supplement a diet with magnesium.

Magnesium oxide is used as a basic refractory material for lining crucibles.
Magnesium oxide is a principle ingredient in construction materials used for fireproofing.
It is used as a reference white color in colorimetry. The emissivity value is about 0.9
Pressed MgO is used as an optical material. It is transparent from 300 nm to 7 µm. The refractive index is 1.72 at 1 µm. It is sometimes known by the Eastman Kodak trademarked name Irtran-5.


Inhalation of magnesium oxide fumes can cause metal fume fever.

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