Trimagnesium phosphate is listed on the FDA's generally recognized as safe list of substances. It is insoluble in water and soluble in salt solution.
1. The octahydrate forms upon reaction of stoichiometric quantities of monomagnesium phosphate with magnesium hydroxide:Mg(H2PO4)2 + Mg(OH)2 → Mg3(PO4)2•8H2O
The octaohydrate is found in nature as the mineral bobierrite.
It has also been disclosed to produce Mg3 (PO4)2.8H2 O by reacting orthophosphoric acid, added dropwise, to magnesium oxide powder or magnesium hydroxide powder with energetic stirring. This order of addition, i.e., the acid to the base, is disclosed to be necessary to produce the trimagnesium but not the dimagnesium phosphate.
The anhydrous compound is obtained by heating the hydrates to 400 degree C.
2. It is also manufactured by precipitation using aqueous solution of tribasic sodium phosphate and magnesium sulfate or chloride. Precipitate of magnesium phosphate is washed with water until it is free of sulfate or chloride then it is dried at low temperature.
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