Manganese Dioxide vs. Manganese Oxide

What's the Difference?

Manganese Dioxide and Manganese Oxide are both compounds of manganese, but they have different chemical compositions and properties. Manganese Dioxide (MnO2) is a black or brown solid that is commonly found in nature as the mineral pyrolusite. It is widely used as a catalyst, in the production of batteries, and as a pigment in ceramics and glass. On the other hand, Manganese Oxide (MnO) is a greenish solid that can exist in different forms, such as MnO2 and Mn2O3. It is primarily used as a raw material in the production of steel and other alloys. While both compounds contain manganese, their distinct compositions and applications make them suitable for different industrial purposes.


AttributeManganese DioxideManganese Oxide
Chemical FormulaMnO2MnO
ColorBlack or brownGreen or brown
Crystal StructureTetragonalTetragonal or cubic
Physical StateSolidSolid
Molar Mass86.9368 g/mol70.9374 g/mol
Density5.026 g/cm35.37 g/cm3
Melting Point535 °C1,975 °C
Boiling PointUnknownUnknown
SolubilityInsoluble in waterInsoluble in water
UsesBatteries, ceramics, pigmentsCatalysts, pigments, fertilizers

Further Detail


Manganese is a chemical element that is commonly found in nature and has various applications in different industries. Two common forms of manganese compounds are manganese dioxide (MnO2) and manganese oxide (MnO). While both compounds contain manganese, they have distinct attributes and properties that make them suitable for different uses. In this article, we will explore and compare the attributes of manganese dioxide and manganese oxide.

Physical Properties

Manganese dioxide is a dark brown or black solid with a crystalline structure. It is insoluble in water and has a high melting point. On the other hand, manganese oxide is a grayish-green or brownish solid with a similar crystalline structure. It is also insoluble in water and has a relatively lower melting point compared to manganese dioxide.

Both compounds are stable under normal conditions and do not react with air or moisture. However, manganese dioxide is more stable and less prone to decomposition than manganese oxide. This stability makes manganese dioxide suitable for applications where a stable compound is required.

Chemical Properties

Manganese dioxide is primarily used as an oxidizing agent due to its ability to undergo redox reactions. It readily accepts electrons and can convert various substances into their oxidized forms. This property makes manganese dioxide useful in the production of batteries, as it facilitates the conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy.

Manganese oxide, on the other hand, is a versatile compound that can act as both an oxidizing and reducing agent. It can participate in redox reactions where it either gains or loses electrons. This property allows manganese oxide to be used in a wide range of applications, including pigments, ceramics, and catalysts.


Manganese dioxide finds extensive use in the battery industry. It is a key component in alkaline batteries, where it acts as the cathode material. The ability of manganese dioxide to accept electrons during the battery discharge process allows it to store and release electrical energy efficiently. Additionally, manganese dioxide is used in the production of dry-cell batteries, where it serves as a depolarizer.

Manganese oxide has diverse applications across various industries. In the field of pigments, it is used as a colorant in ceramics, paints, and dyes. Manganese oxide pigments offer excellent heat resistance and stability, making them suitable for high-temperature applications. Furthermore, manganese oxide is utilized as a catalyst in chemical reactions, such as the oxidation of organic compounds or the reduction of pollutants in environmental processes.

Toxicity and Environmental Impact

Both manganese dioxide and manganese oxide are considered relatively safe compounds when handled properly. However, prolonged exposure to high levels of manganese compounds, including inhalation of manganese dust or fumes, can have adverse health effects. Manganese toxicity can lead to neurological disorders, respiratory issues, and other health complications.

In terms of environmental impact, manganese dioxide and manganese oxide are generally considered to have low toxicity. However, improper disposal or release of these compounds into the environment can have negative consequences. Manganese compounds can accumulate in soil and water, potentially affecting ecosystems and aquatic life. Therefore, proper handling, storage, and disposal methods should be followed to minimize environmental impact.


In conclusion, manganese dioxide and manganese oxide are two distinct compounds with different attributes and applications. Manganese dioxide is known for its stability and oxidizing properties, making it suitable for battery production. On the other hand, manganese oxide is a versatile compound that can act as both an oxidizing and reducing agent, finding applications in pigments, ceramics, and catalysts. While both compounds have their uses, it is essential to handle them with care due to potential health and environmental risks associated with manganese compounds.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.