Simple Sunday – Magnesium Chloride

What does it look like?

652px-Magnesium-chloride-3D-polyhedra

What is it?

Magnesium chloride a very simple material, with a lot of uses – from roads to antiseptic to tofu. As you can see from the image of ti’s crystal structure it forms in layers – with the magnesium and chlorine atoms forming octahedra that are joined together. This means there is lots of room for water to also to join between the layers and form a magnesium chloride hydrate.

There’s lots more on this material in the latest Chemistry World podcast from Brian Clegg that you can listen to here.

Where did the structure come from?

Magnesium chloride is #9009129 in the Open Crystallography Database.

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