Magnesium Hydroxide is an inorganic compound with the formula Mg(OH)2. The solid mineral form of Magnesium Hydroxide is brucite, first described in 1824 and named after its discoverer, the American mineralist Archibald Bruce (1777-1818). Brucite is used as a flame retardant because it thermally decomposes in a similar way as aluminium hydroxide and mixtures of huntite and hydromagnesite, to release water. The superior properties of the synthetic form of Mg(OH)2, in terms of purity and particle size distribution,has opened up far more applications. Synthetic Magnesium Hydroxide is produced by Kyowa Chemical Industry since 1950 and by us, Kisuma Chemicals since 1998.
One important application of Mg(OH)2 is the use of the material in the pharmaceutical industry, for example as antacid to neutralize stomach acids and as laxative. Although the use of Mg(OH)2 for this purpose was already described in 1829 by Sir James Murray, who used a fluid magnesia preparation to treat the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the Marquis of Anglesey, of stomach pain, it was first sold under the brandname ''Philip's Milk of Magnesia'' by Charles Henry Philip's in 1872. Today, medicinal type Mg(OH)2 is sold in liquid form, chewable tablets or tablets.
The largest industrial application of Mg(OH)2 is flame retardants for articles such as roofing, isolation materials, plastic articles and coatings. The mechanism of flame retardancy is based on the endothermic decomposition of the material into MgO and H2O. This reaction adsorbs heat, which delays ignition of the associated substance. The water that is released dilutes combustible gases and inhibits oxygen from aiding the combustion. Other known applications of Mg(OH)2 include food additives, where the material is used as acidity regulator, and as precursor for other magnesium materials, most notably MgO.
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