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Magnesium from the Great Salt Lake


Magnesium from the Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake provides almost all of the magnesium in the United States and 14% of the world's supply.

The compound magnesium chloride is found naturally in the lake, and undergoes chemical reactions to split the magnesium from the chlorine. Magnesium, in its pure, metallic form, is commonly used in alloys with aluminum (for malleability), iron (for strength), steel (to decrease its brittleness) and titanium (for lightness and strength).

The largest single consumption of magnesium is for the production of aluminum beverage cans. Other uses include metal for aircraft, automobile sheets, crankcases, computers, cell phones, hand tools, pyrotechnics, motor oil, and pharmaceuticals. The chlorine extracted from magnesium chloride is used to purify water, but its emission is also a point of contention for air and water quality regulations around the facility.

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