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Magnesium nitrate

Magnesium nitrate
IUPAC name Magnesium nitrate
Other names nitromagnesite
CAS number 10377-60-3 (anhydrous),
13446-18-9 (hexahydrate)
RTECS number OM3750000 (anhydrous),
OM3756000 (hexahydrate)
Molecular formula Mg(NO3)2
Molar mass 148.30 g/mol
Appearance White crystalline solid
Density 1.46 g/cm3, solid
Melting point

89 °C (362 K)

Boiling point

decomposes at 330 °C (603 K)

Solubility in water 125g/100ml
MSDS External MSDS
Main hazards Eye & Skin Irritant
NFPA 704
R-phrases R8 R36
S-phrases S7 S15
Flash point Non-flammable
Related Compounds
Other anions MgCl2, MgSO4, Mg(OH)2,
MgO, Mg3N2
Other cations Ca(NO3)2, NH4NO3, NaNO3,
KNO3, Cu(NO3)2, Al(NO3)3
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Magnesium nitrate is a hygroscopic salt with the formula Mg(NO3)2. In air, it quickly forms the hexahydrate with the formula Mg(NO3)2.6H2O. It is very soluble in both water and ethanol.


Magnesium nitrate occurs in mines and caverns as nitromagnesite. This form is not common, although it may be present where guano contacts magnesium-rich rock. It is used in the ceramics, printing, chemical and agriculture industries. Its fertilizer grade has 10.5% nitrogen and 9.4% magnesium, so it is listed as 10.5-0-0 + 9.4% Mg. Fertilizer blends containing magnesium nitrate usually have ammonium nitrate, calcium nitrate, potassium nitrate and micronutrients; these blends are used in the greenhouse and hydroponics trade.


The magnesium nitrate used in commerce is a man-made product. It can be synthesized in a variety of ways. The reaction between nitric acid and magnesium metal or magnesium oxide results in magnesium nitrate.

2HNO3 + MgO → Mg(NO3)2 + H2O

Magnesium hydroxide and ammonium nitrate also react to form magnesium nitrate as ammonia is released as a by-product.

Mg(OH)2 + 2NH4NO3 → Mg(NO3)2 + 2NH3 + 2H2O

Since magnesium nitrate has a high affinity for water, heating the hexahydrate does not result in the dehydration of the salt. Instead, magnesium nitrate hexahydrate decomposes into magnesium oxide, oxygen, and nitrogen oxides.

2Mg(NO3)2 → 2MgO + 4NO2 + O2

The absorbption of these nitrogen oxides in water is one possible route way to synthesize nitric acid. Although it is inefficient, it does not require the use of another strong acid.

Anhydrous magnesium nitrate is also used to increase the concentration of nitric acid past its azeotrope of approximently 68% nitric acid and 32% water. It is also occasionally used as a desiccant.


    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Magnesium_nitrate". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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