Why should a magnesium ribbon be cleaned before burning in air?



  • Magnesium is a highly reactive element
  • When kept open in the air, it reacts with the atmospheric oxygen to form Magnesium Oxide (MgO)
  • The MgO layer does not burn or slows down the burning process and thus should be removed
  • So the Magnesium ribbon should be cleaned with a sandpaper before burning to prevent the impurities deposited on the Magnesium ribbon from interfering in the reaction
  • When cleaned, only pure Magnesium is present and burns in air with a dazzling flame

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Maninder Singh

CA Maninder Singh is a Chartered Accountant for the past 13 years and a teacher from the past 17 years. He teaches Science, Economics, Accounting and English at Teachoo