What Is Magnesium Carbonate Used For?

Many antacids contain magnesium carbonate.
••• Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Shawn Campbell

Magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) is a white solid, readily found in nature as magnesite and which usually occurs in a hydrated form, clustered with water molecules. It has some industrial uses, such as in glass production, but some everyday uses as well.


Magnesium carbonate is used as an oral supplement for people with low magnesium in their blood, which occurs most often when someone uses diuretics or has lost fluids through diarrhea or vomiting, for example.


Highly pure magnesium carbonate is a common antacid, but in large doses also acts as a laxative. Antacids often contain aluminum hydroxide for balance, since it has a constipating effect.

Hand Chalk

Most of the hand chalk that athletes like gymnasts, rock climbers and weightlifters use to dry their hands is magnesium carbonate. This chalk absorbs water readily and is not the same as blackboard chalk, which is calcium carbonate.


Its insulating properties, as well as the fact that it is a non-toxic, fairly light and non-flammable substance, make magnesium carbonate ideal for heavy-duty insulation. This includes shipbuilding, boiler manufacturing, and for heavy appliances like ovens and dishwashers.


Because of its water-absorbing properties, some manufacturers add food-grade magnesium carbonate to salt and flour as an anti-clumping agent.

Related Articles

Common Uses for Magnesium Oxide
What Is Magnesium Carbonate?
Urethane vs. Polyurethane
What is Silicon Dioxide?
Main Types of Alcohol
Does Oil Dissolve Rubber Gloves?
What Is Sulfate?
Uses of Polyvinyl Acetate
What Is the Chemical Formula of Bleach?
Difference Between Sodium Chlorite & Sodium Chloride
What Is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?
How to Use Propylene Glycol
Ammonium Carbonate Uses
What Is Urethane?
Denatured Alcohol Vs. Isopropyl Alcohol
Isopropanol Alcohol Vs. Isopropyl Alcohol
Sodium Carbonate Vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
How to Make Bromine Water in the Chemistry Lab
Physical & Chemical Properties of Epsom Salt