Manganese vs. Magnesium: What's the Difference?

Key Difference

The main difference between two elements is that magnesium (Mg) is an alkaline earth metal whereas manganese (Mn) is a transition metal. This primarily denotes their position in the periodic table signalling the difference in their chemical properties.


Manganese vs. Magnesium

Magnesium that is an s block element has a tendency to lose 2 electrons to stabilize its valence. On the contrary, manganese from d block is a transition metal that is indicative of its property of inconsistent or transiting oxidation states (number of bonding electrons). These are both needed for body functioning. Also that, manganese, unlike magnesium, can have an ability to form complexes or complex compounds. This ability of formation of a variety of compounds is reflected by the visually coloured manganese compounds. Manganese is used as an alloying agent with the metals while magnesium itself is used with minerals and has a wide range of application.

Comparison Chart

Basis Manganese Magnesium
Electronic Symbol Mn Mg
Atomic Weight 54amu 24amu
Atomic Number 25 12
Melting Point 1246 degree Celsius 650 degree Celsius
Atomic Radius 127pm 160pm
Place in the Periodic Table Found in d block of the periodic table of elements. Found in s block of the periodic table of elements.
Electronegativity 1.55 1.31
Oxidation State -3 to +7 0 to +2

What is Manganese?

It is shiny in appearance and grey in colour. It is eighth most abundantly found element on the planet. Obvious from its periodic location, it cannot independently exist in general. Thus, it is widely found in minerals like dolomite is widely found in magnesium product (magnesium carbonate). Our body contains 1% magnesium in blood, liver and muscles. A vital need of magnesium is traced in the heart of living body where it causes contraction. It is useful to cure constipation and also used for sleep. Its deficiency causes weak bones (osteoporosis), muscle twitches, fatigue, high blood pressure, arrhythmias of heart and even mental retardation. Its normal dose should be 400 to 420mg per day. The atomic number of magnesium is 12 with atomic mass 24.305 g/mol. It has 5 isotopes (subforms). The melting point of manganese is 1246 degrees Celsius. It is solid at the room temperature. It can exist in a wide range of oxidation states from -3 to +7 in compounds. Due to the presence of the d orbital, the atomic size of manganese is 127 pm. It is paramagnetic compound and it is due to presence of unpaired electrons. It is very hard and brittle when found at room temperature. One of the most common compound potassium permanganate which is also purplish in colour and is used widely for different experiments and titration processes. One of the most vital use of manganese is in steel industry where it is used as an alloying agent and as well as a deoxidizing agent. It is also used to prepare aluminum alloys.


What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is placed in group 2 of the periodic table of elements and denoted by Mg in period 3. The atomic number twelve of the magnesium shows that it has twelve protons in the nucleus. The melting point of magnesium is 650 degrees Celsius which clearly illustrates that it is solid at room temperature. It has oxidation state of 0 and +2. Magnesium and other group members of magnesium are known as alkaline earth metals. It has electronegativity nearly about 1.31. Besides having three stable isotopes the most abundant is 24Mg and is found about seventy nine percent on earth. Moreover these isotopes it also does have radioactive isotopes. It is very reactive even with water at room temperature. The reaction leads to formation of bubbles of hydrogen gas leaving behind a new compound known as magnesium hydroxide. As it is reactive it is flammable too, it gives a white flame when burned. Mineral dolomite and magnetite are the two minerals in which magnesium is found in excessive amount. It can also be found in other natural sources for example sea water that contains dissolved magnesium ions in it. When it comes to its application it is used widely as a metal. The two most common applications are aircraft designing and automotive designing.

Key differences

  1. Magnesium is denoted by Mg while manganese is denoted by Mn in the periodic table.
  2. The atomic weight of manganese is 54amu while that of manganese is 24amu.
  3. The atomic number of manganese is 25 whereas that of magnesium is 12.
  4. The atomic radius for manganese is 127 pm whereas for magnesium is 160pm.
  5. The melting point of manganese is about 1246 degrees Celsius while that of magnesium is 650 degrees
  6. Mn is found in the s block whereas Mg is found in d block of the periodic
  7. Electronegativity is about 1.55 for Mn, but for Mg, it is 1.31.
  8. Mn has oxidation state from -3 to +7. Mg has oxidation state from 0 to +2.


Manganese and magnesium are two similar sounding but entirely different elements of the periodic table. The difference varies from their atomic weight, radius, oxidation states to their uses and chemical and physical properties.

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