MgSO4 Lewis Structure& Characteristics: 15 Complete Facts

MgSO4 is widely used as reagent in fertilizer to decreases magnesium deficiency in soil. Let us talk about characteristics of magnesium sulfate in details below.

MgSO4 appears as white crystals without any odor. It is a common mineral in nature as hydrated form like MgSO4.nH2O. Taste of magnesium sulfate is quite bitter. It is soluble in polar solvents with dipole interaction but insoluble in nonpolar organic solvent.

Usually MgSO4 can be found from dry lack sides. Recently it is manufactured from seawater. MgSO4 has unique character as it can absorbe sound in seawater above 10 KHz. Let us discus the valence electron, hybridization, solubility, polarity and other facts with explanation.

How to draw MgSO4 lewis structure

Inorganic salt MgSO4 lewis structure can be drawn by its constituent atomic symbols with their valence electrons. Let us follow the steps to draw MgSO4 lewis structure.

Step 1: sum up total valence electrons

Total valence electron participated in mgso4 lewis structure is, [2+ 6+ (4×6)] = 32. Because in mgso4, magnesium (Mg) is from group 2, oxygen (O) and sulfur (S) both are from group 16 element in the Periodic table. So valence electrons can be calculated according to their group number.

Step 2: transferring electron cloud

3s orbital electrons are transferred from magnesium as it is earth metal. So magnesium become positively charged ion. While accepting these electrons sulfate become negatively charged. These ions are written inside brackets and the valency is written outside the bracket.

Step 3: octet rule checking

In MgSO4, magnesium has electronically stabilized octet orbit by transferring electron to sulfate. Sulfur has six valence electrons in 3s outer orbital. It fills octet arrangement by accepting these electrons and also by sharing electron with oxygen atom.

MgSO4 lewis structure resonance

Valence bond theory describes resonating structures, where actual molecule looks like major contributing structure. Let us see if MgSO4 has such delocalized structure.

MgSO4 lewis structure can’t make resonating canonical structure.  The crystalline structure of MgSO4 is formed by transferring of electrons. This generates strong attracting electrostatic force. For this MgSO4 structure becomes rigid.

MgSO4 lewis structure shape

Shape of covalent molecule is formed due to distortion by non bonding electron pairs. Let us figure out if MgSO4 lewis structure has any shape.

MgSO4 lewis structure shape can’t be identified as it is an ionic compound. From VSEPR theory, molecular shape can be determined on the basis of hybrid molecular orbital. MgSO4 has no hybrid orbital as there is no necessity for sharing of electron cloud.

mgso4 lewis structure
MgSO4 lewis structure

MgSO4 lewis structure formal charge

Formal charge is calculated to find lowest energized structure which value must be ‘0’. Let us explain if MgSO4 has any formal charge.

Formal charge of atoms of MgSO4 can’t be measured as it is related to covalent molecule. It is formed by fully electron transferring without electron sharing. Formal charge is measured with bonding (n) and non bonding (l) electrons by the formula, F= (v- l- n/2) in covalent molecule.

MgSO4 lewis structure octet rule

Octet rule is calculated for main group elements in a stabilized lewis dot structure. Let us explore if MgSO4 lewis structure obeys the rule of thumb.

MgSO4 lewis structure elements fulfill octet rule. The outer orbital 3s electrons of magnesium are fully transferred to vacant sulfur 3p orbital. Here magnesium satisfies stabilized structure like nearest noble gas ‘Ne’. Sulfur and oxygen also complete octet configuration with the electrons.

mgso4 lewis structure
MgSO4 lewis structure

MgSO4 lewis structure lone pairs

Lone pairs of electrons are unshared electrons in hybrid orbital of covalent molecule. Let us find if MgSO4 contains such type of electrons.

MgSO4 lewis structure has no lone pair. MgSO4 is produced by transferring electron without any hybrid orbital formation. So here no possibility for remaining of non bonding electrons in molecular orbital as lone pair.

MgSO4 valence electrons

Last orbit electrons which participate in bonding are called valence electrons in an atom. Let us learn about valence electrons of MgSO4 compound.

MgSO4 molecule is formed by thirty two valence electrons. Magnesium atom has two 3s electron, oxygen and sulfur both contain six electrons in their valence shell. MgSO4 molecule has four oxygen atoms, so total outer shell electrons are {2+ 6+ (6×4)} = 32

MgSO4 bond angle

Bond angle is measured between overlapping orbitals. This helps to understand geometry of covalent compound. Let us know about bond angle of MgSO4.

MgSO4 lewis structure bond angle can’t be measured due to efficiently packed structure. In the compound, anion and cation are bound by strong electrostatic force in rigid order. The molecule has no covalent bond where hybrid orbitals overlap and bond angle can be measured.

MgSO4 hybridization

In hybridization last shell orbitals intermix energetically to produce new shape orbital. Let us understand if hybridization is necessary for MgSO4 or not.

Hybridization can’t be seen during MgSO4 molecular orbital formation. It is necessary for covalent molecules to have new shape hybrid orbital. But in MgSO4 lewis structure 3s electrons of magnesium are completely transferred. So MgSO4 has no necessity for formation of hybrid orbital.

Is MgSO4 solid?

Solid state of a matter depends on the compact arrangement of the components. Let us see if we can find MgSO4 in solid state.

MgSO4 is a crystalline solid, unstable as anhydrous. It forms crystal in hydrated forms. Monohydrated, tetrahydrated, hexahydrated MgSO4 make monoclinic solid crystals. Where dihydrated, heptahydrated MgSO4 make orthorhombic solid crystals.

Why MgSO4 is solid?

MgSO4 can be found as white crystalline solid. Crystallography shows sollid MgSO4 lattice structure varies with number of water molecules. In dihydrated solid form Mg (2+) is surrounded by four oxygen atoms of sulfate ion and two water molecules.

How MgSO4 is solid?

MgSO4 is solid matter with properties like high melting point. For highly ordered lattice structure with ionic bond, decomposition of crystal takes much energy. Melting point for anhydrous MgSO4 is 1124̊ C. This value is decreased to 150̊ C when 7 water molecules are inserted in MgSO4 molecule.

Is MgSO4 soluble in water?

Solubility of a compound in water is depended on its polarity at a particular pressure and temperature. Let us find if MgSO4 is soluble in water for ionic nature.  

MgSO4 is soluble in water and results magnesium oxide (MgO) and sulfur trioxide (SO3). At 0̊ C the measured solubility value for MgSO4 is 26.9 g per 100 mL water, where 50.2 g per 100 mL water at 100̊ C. The solubility of hepta hydrated MgSO4 is 113 g per 100 mL water at 20̊ c.

Why MgSO4 is soluble in water?

MgSO4 is soluble in water as its aqua ions are stabilized by the polar solvent water. There occurs dipole interaction between solute and solvent which drives the reaction direction to the right side. Beside this MgSO4 is highly hygroscopic, can contain near eleven water molecules in structure.

How MgSO4 is soluble in water?

MgSO4 is soluble in water and it increases with increasing temperature. The lattice energy of anhydrous MgSO4 is quite high as the constituents are (+2) charged. For this high activation energy the decomposition of MgSO4 in water increases with high temperature.

Is MgSO4 polar or nonpolar?

Different electro-negativity of atoms in covalent bond generates unbalanced dipole moment. This causes polarity. Let us figure out if MgSO4 is polar or non polar.

MgSO4 is neither polar nor nonpolar as it is pure ionic compound. MgSO4 is produced by fully electron cloud donation from metal (magnesium) to nonmetal (sulfate). So polarity can’t be measured as there is no possibility of electron cloud sharing.

Why and how MgSO4 is not polar or nonpolar?

MgSO4 is not polar or nonpolar as contains ionic bond.  This ionic bond electron cloud can’t be distorted as bounded by strong electrostatic force. Bond polarity is calculated by dipole moment (µ). This depends on separated charge (δ) and distance between them (r), so MgSO4 can’t be polar.

Is MgSO4 an acid or base?

In aqueous solution, producing hydroxide or hydrogen ion decides basic or acidic nature. This is measured by pH scale value. Let us find out nature of MgSO4.

MgSO4 is neither acidic nor basic. MgSO4 is neutral in nature as when this is added to litmus paper, there will be no change is color. There will be change in litmus paper color to red or blue if it is acid or base respectively. 

Why and how MgSO4 is neutral?

MgSO4 is neutral as its pH value is near 7, middle value in pH scale. pH is negative log base of hydrogen ion (H+), but MgSO4 is unable of releasing hydrogen ion. For this the average pH value is seen.

Is MgSO4 an electrolyte?

Electrolytes can dissociate in solution and transfer electricity throughout a solvent. Let us figure it out if MgSO4 is an electrolyte.

MgSO4 can be a strong electrolyte molecule in aqueous solution. In electrolytic shell of dilute solution of MgSO4, current can be measured between anode and cathode. Here chemical energy in the electrodes converted to the electrical energy.

Why and how MgSO4 is an electrolyte?

MgSO4 dilute solution is electrolyte as produces aqua ions. After dissolution in water mgso4 generates aqueous Mg (2+) and aqueous SO4 (2-) ions. These ions can’t react with water molecule, so freely move when electricity applied to electrode.

Is MgSO4 a salt?

Salts are neutral chemical compounds which dissociate in anionic and cationic part in solution. Let us check if MgSO4 is a salt.

MgSO4 is an anhydrous salt which is formed by two oppositely charged entities. But this form is naturally unstable while hydrated magnesium sulfate (MgSO4. nH2O) is more stable salt. Common hydrate MgSO4 salt is (MgSO4. nH2O), known as Epsom salt which contains 7 water molecules.

Why and how MgSO4 is a salt?

MgSO4 is neutral salt. This is because it is produced in the reaction of strong acid (H2SO4) and strong base (Mg(OH)2)where water is byproduct. In solid form it is neutral with zero net charge. It also forms double salt with potassium or sodium.

Is MgSO4 ionic or covalent?

In a molecule bonding nature is dependent on electro negativity difference and valence electron configuration of atoms. Let us discuss if MgSO4 is ionic or covalent.

MgSO4 is ionic compound not covalent. That is because outer orbital 3s electron cloud is fully transferred from magnesium (Mg) and forms sulfate ion. Where sharing of electron cloud between two atomic nuclei is seen in covalent type of bonding.

Why MgSO4 is ionic?

MgSO4 is ionic as made by two oppositely charged ions. Magnesium as cation has net positive charge of (+2) and sulfate as anion has net negative charge of (-2). Strong electrostatic force bounds these ions to produce neutral ionic molecule MgSO4.

How MgSO4 is ionic?

MgSO4 is ionic but also contains covalent bonds in the sulfate ion. There is lack of two electrons to full fill the octet in sulfate ion which are donated by magnesium. The strong attracting force increases the activation energy of the molecule.


Mgso4 molecule has ionic bond connected with strong electrostatic force. Also the molecule is highly hygroscopic. These properties control the chemical behavior of the ionic compound.

Triyasha Mondal

Hi...I am Triyasha Mondal, pursuing M.Sc in Chemistry. I am an enthusiastic learner. My specialization is in physical chemistry. Let's connect through LinkedIn:

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