Q:

How hot does magnesium burn?

A:

Magnesium ignites at 632 degrees Celsius and burns at 1982 C. This is equivalent to igniting at 1169 degrees Fahrenheit and burning at 3599 F.

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Magnesium emits ultraviolet light when burning, so one must not look directly at the flame. Magnesium is used in flares and tracer ammunition.

Fighting a magnesium fire is quite unusual. It actually burns better in carbon dioxide, so fire extinguishers can accelerate the fire, instead of extinguishing it. Adding water occasionally causes a steam explosion, which spreads the fire. Water can even split into hydrogen and oxygen in a magnesium fire, resulting in a hydrogen explosion.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is magnesium used in?

    A:

    According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, magnesium is used in flares, pyrotechnics and incendiary bombs, and it was previously used in flash bulbs. Because it has a lower density than aluminum, its alloys are used in airplanes, missiles, bicycle frames, car seats and luggage.

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  • Q:

    What is the density of magnesium?

    A:

    The density of the metal magnesium is 1.74 grams per cubic centimeters. Magnesium is a solid at room temperature and it belongs to Group 2 on the periodic table.

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  • Q:

    What is magnesium chloride hexahydrate?

    A:

    Magnesium chloride hexahydrate is the magnesium salt of the hydrochloric acid, HCl. Its molecular formula is Cl2H12MgO6 or MgCl2(H2O)6 and its molar mass is 203.3 grams per mole. It is highly soluble in water. Its density is 1.569 grams per cubic centimeter, compared to 2.32 for the anhydrous form, and its melting point is 117 degrees Celsius compared to 714 degrees for the anhydrous compound.

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  • Q:

    How does magnesium react with oxygen?

    A:

    Magnesium has a very energetic combustion reaction with oxygen, where two atoms of magnesium bond with one molecule of oxygen gas to form two molecules of magnesium oxide. This reaction is extremely exothermic, releasing a great deal of heat and light, which is why magnesium fuses are used to initiate reactions such as the thermite reaction, and magnesium is used in flares for high visibility. The reaction of magnesium to oxygen is so energetically favorable that burning magnesium can steal the oxygen from both water and carbon dioxide, making these common methods of dousing flames ineffective to stop magnesium combustion.

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