Magnesium acetate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Magnesium acetate
Magnesium acetate.png
IUPAC name
Magnesium acetate
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.005.050
Molar mass 142.394 (anhydrous) 214.455 (tetrahydrate)
Appearance White hygroscopic crystals
Density 1.45 g/cm3
Melting point 80 °C (176 °F; 353 K) (tetrahydrate)
−116.0·10−6 cm3/mol (+4 H2O
Related compounds
Other cations
Calcium acetate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
☒N verify (what is ☑Y☒N ?)
Infobox references

Anhydrous magnesium acetate has the chemical formula Mg(C2H3O2)2 and in its hydrated form, magnesium acetate tetrahydrate, it has the chemical formula Mg(CH3COO)2 • 4H2O. In this compound magnesium has an oxidation state of 2+. Magnesium acetate is the magnesium salt of acetic acid.[1] It is deliquescent and upon heating, it decomposes to form magnesium oxide.[2] Magnesium acetate is commonly used as a source of magnesium in biological reactions.[3]

Physical properties[edit]

Magnesium acetate appears as white hygroscopic crystals. It smells like acetic acid and is soluble in water. When it is in an aqueous solution its pH will be on the alkaline side of neutral.[4][5]


Due to the fact that it is very hygroscopic, it must be stored away from water. It is also incompatible with strong oxidizers and should not be mixed with them.[6]


Synthesis of magnesium acetate from the reaction of magnesium hydroxide with acetic acid.[7]

2 CH3COOH + Mg(OH)2 → (CH3COO)2Mg + 2 H2O

Magnesium carbonate suspended in distilled water with 20% acetic acid solution.[8]

2 CH3COOH + MgCO3 → Mg(CH3COO)2 + CO2 + H2O

Reacting metallic magnesium with acetic acid dissolved in dry benzene causes magnesium acetate to form along with the release hydrogen gas.[9]

Mg +2 CH3COOH → Mg(CH3COO)2 + H2

Uses and applications[edit]

In 1881 Charles Clamond invented the Clamond basket, one of the first effective gas mantles. The reagents used in this invention included magnesium acetate, magnesium hydroxide ,and water.

Magnesium acetate is commonly used as a source of magnesium or for the acetate ion in chemistry experiments. One example of this is when magnesium acetate and magnesium nitrate were both used to perform molecular dynamics simulations and surface tension measurements. In the experiment the authors found that the acetate had a stronger affinity for the surface compared to the nitrate ion and that the Mg2+ strongly repelled away from the air/liquid interference. They also found that the Mg2+ had a stronger tendency to bind with the acetate ion compared to the nitrate.[10]

One of the more prevalent uses of magnesium acetate is in the mixture called calcium magnesium acetate (CMA). It is a mixture of calcium acetate and magnesium acetate. CMA is thought of as an environmentally friendly alternative deicer to NaCl and CaCl2. CMA also acts as a powerful SO2, NOx, and toxic particulate emission control agent in coal combustion processes to reduce acid rain, and as an effective catalyst for the facilitation of coal combustion.[11]

Magnesium acetate has been found to cause a conformational change in Escherichia coli enzyme Primase. In this experiment Mg(OAc)2, MnCl2, CaCl2, NaOAc, LiCl, MgSO4 and MgCl2 were all compared to see what effect they had on the Escherichia coli enzyme Primase. The experimenters found that Mg(OAc)2 caused the best conformational change. MgSO4 and MgCl2 induced the effect slightly while the rest did not.[12]

When magnesium acetate is mixed with hydrogen peroxide it acts as a bactericidal.[13]

Magnesium acetate has been shown to be effective at ashing organic compounds in preparation for a fluorine analysis when high or low concentrations of fluorine are present.[14]


Magnesium acetate is a relatively safe compound to handle and has been given a health hazard rating of zero. However, it should always be handled with gloves and safety goggles. If it gets in the eyes, the skin, ingested, or inhaled it will cause irritation in the respective areas: eyes, skin, gastrointestinal system, and lungs.[15]


  1. ^ Magnesium Acetate. Retrieved on 2012-04-12.
  2. ^ Magnesium Acetate Supplier & Tech Info American Elements Retrieved on 2012-04-12.
  3. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich fact sheet on Magnesium acetate" (PDF). Retrieved 4/10/2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ "Unisenchem Fact Sheet Magnesium Acetate". Retrieved 4/10/2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  5. ^ "Unisenchem Fact Sheet Magnesium Acetate" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-16.
  6. ^ "Unisenchem Fact Sheet Magnesium Acetate". Retrieved 4/10/2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ Stouffer, M. R. ". Adsorbents for removing H2s, Other Odor causing Compounds, and Acid Gases from Gas Streams and Methods for Producing and Using these Adsorbents". Retrieved 2012-04-25.
  8. ^ Staszczuk, P.; Pekalska, J. (2003). "Methods of Preparation of Magnesium Organic Compounds from Natural Dolomite". Physiochemical Problems of Mineral Processing. 37: 149–158.
  9. ^ Encyclopedia of Chemical Reactions. 1957. p. 399.
  10. ^ Minofar, Babak; Vácha, Robert; Wahab, Abdul; Mahiuddin, Sekh; Kunz Werner; Jungwirth, Pavel (2006). "Propensity for the Air/Water Interface and Ion Pairing in Magnesium Acetate vs Magnesium Nitrate Solutions: Molecular Dynamics Simulations and Surface Tension Measurements". J. Phys. Chem. 110 (32): 15939–15944. doi:10.1021/jp060627p. PMID 16898748.
  11. ^ Dionysiou, Dionysios; Tsianou, Marina; Botsaris, Gregory (2000). "Extractive Crystallization for the Production of Calcium Acetate and Magnesium Acetate from Carbonate Sources". Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 39 (11): 4192–4202. doi:10.1021/ie9906823.
  12. ^ Urlacher, Teresa M.; Griep, Mark A. (1995). "Magnesium Acetate Induces a Conformational Change in Escherichia coli Primase". Biochemistry. 34 (51): 16708–16714. doi:10.1021/bi00051a020. PMID 8527445.
  13. ^ Vigo, T. L, Danna, G. F. "Reaction Products of Magnesium Acetate and Hydrogen Peroxide for Imparting Antibacterial Activity to Fibrous Subtrates". Patent. Retrieved 4/10/2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  14. ^ Crutchfield, W. Jr. (1942). "Magnesium Acetate as an Ashing Agent in Fluorine Analysis". Ind. Eng. Chem. Anal. Ed. 14: 57–58. doi:10.1021/i560101a023.
  15. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich material safety sheet". 2009-02-07. External link in |publisher= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)