What happens when you burn magnesium in the air?

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enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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At room temperature, a sample of pure magnesium metal combines with oxygen to form a thin skin of magnesium oxide. At higher temperatures, it burns with a blinding white light, and because of this property it's used in fireworks.  Read more at the link:

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maria-vivanco's profile pic

maria-vivanco | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Chemically, when magnesium reacts with oxygen it forms magnesium oxide. It produces a white flame during the chemical reaction 

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parama9000 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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It produces a white flame and the end result is production of magnesium oxide.

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Yojana_Thapa | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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When you burn Magnesium in air, it react with oxygen. Producing Magnesium Oxide.

Magnesium + Oxygen ---> Magnesium Oxide

(2) Mg + O2 ----> (2) MgO

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revolution | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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The equation of a reaction of oxygen and magnesium to form magnesium is as follows:

2Mg (aq)+O2 (aq)-->2 MgO (s)

When it burns in oxygen, it would produce a strong white flame and its intensity may cause your eyes to go blind if you stare too close at it. It would react to form a compound called magnesium oxide which has a wood-ash appearance.


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giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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2Mg + O2 -> 2MgO (Magnesium Oxide)

But we all know that air is made not only of O2, but N2 too. The O2 is responsible for combustion; the N2, however, is unreactive at normal temperatures.

When we burn Mg in the air, the result will be 2 products: magnesium oxide (MgO) and magnesium nitride (Mg3N2).