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