Burn Magnesium with extreme Caution!
Magnesium is a highly flammable metal and can be easy to burn in some circumstances. Magnesium is easy to burn when it is a powder or has been shaved into thin strips, but is difficult to burn as a solid. Warning! Magnesium metal, and its alloys, are explosive hazards and must be handled with extreme caution.
Magnesium and Oxygen Reaction - Magnesium Oxide
When magnesium metal burns it reacts with oxygen found in the air to form Magnesium Oxide, which is a compound. Intense heating is required to make magnesium burn in oxygen. Magnesium and Oxygen combine in a chemical reaction to form the Magnesium Oxide compound.
Magnesium + Oxygen —> Magnesium oxide
After it burns, it forms a white powder of the magnesium oxide. On burning in air, powdered magnesium produces a brilliant white light, which includes strong ultraviolet light that can permanently damage eyes. It is therefore extremely important to safety glasses with welding eye protection when burning magnesium in air (oxygen gas). Magnesium burns in steam to produce white magnesium oxide and hydrogen gas. After it burns, a white powder of the magnesium oxide is formed. Examples of Combination types of reaction when magnesium is burned are as follows:
- Magnesium and nitrogen form magnesium nitride
- Magnesium and carbon dioxide form magnesium oxide and carbon
- Magnesium and water form magnesium oxide and hydrogen
- Magnesium with dilute nitric acid form magnesium nitrate and hydrogen gas
Hydrochloric Acid and Magnesium Reaction
Magnesium displaces hydrogen because it is more reactive. Magnesium oxide reacts with acids. It reacts with warm dilute hydrochloric acid to give magnesium chloride solution. Magnesium therefore reacts with dilute hydrochloric acid to give magnesium chloride and hydrogen gas.
Magnesium + Hydrochloric acid —> Magnesium chloride + Hydrogen
Magnesium Water Reaction
Magnesium does not react violently with water at room temperature. A layer of insoluble magnesium oxide forms around the magnesium which separates the remainder of the magnesium from the water. Magnesium reacts slowly with hot water to give hydrogen gas & white magnesium hydroxide, which is only slightly soluble in water. It has virtually no reaction with cold water. Magnesium can react vigorously with steam giving an intense white light. Hydrogen gas is given out in the reaction forming magnesium hydroxide.
Magnesium + Steam —> Magnesium Oxide + Hydrogen
Some examples of a chemical reaction include most commonly burning, fermentation, tarnishing and rusting. There are several different types of Chemical reaction which have been detailed below:
- Substitution reactions
- Double displacement reactions
- Acid-base reactions
- Combustion reactions
- Combination reactions
- Decomposition reactions
Refer to our Chemical Reaction article for additional facts and information providing the different types of reactions, examples of reaction and the Rate of a Chemical Reaction.