Natural MgO has a high melting point, stable structure and good mechanical properties all of which are desired properties for catalyst supports. At the same time, it can promote reactions benefited by an alkaline environment. It has therefore found many applications in the petrochemical industry, examples of which are:
- as catalyst in isobutylene isomerization,
- as a support for steam reforming catalysts,
- as catalyst support and SOx absorbent in fluid catalytic cracking reactors,
- as raw material for hydrotalcite supported catalysts and process additives,
- as raw material for spinel supports.
MgO can also be used as a catalyst in the emulsifier industry for the trans-esterification of glycerides, and for catalytic transfer hydrogenolysis (e.g., keton reduction to alcohols) in fine organic chemicals industries.