Q:

How hot does magnesium burn?

A:

Quick Answer

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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Full Answer

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 chelated magnesium?

    A:

    Chelated magnesium is a medicine that is also known as magnesium amino acids chelate. It is often prescribed to supplement deficiencies of the mineral magnesium and sometimes to treat other medical problems. Sufficient magnesium is essential for healthy muscles and nerves and many other body systems.

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  • Q:

    Where does magnesium come from?

    A:

    Magnesium is found in mineral deposits such as dolomite and magnesite, and it is an abundant element in the earth’s crust. It does not occur naturally as a pure metal.

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  • Q:

    What happens when magnesium burns in air?

    A:

    When magnesium burns in air, the oxygen in the air reacts with magnesium metal to produce magnesium oxide. However, for this reaction to occur, heat must be applied. The chemical equation for this reaction is 2Mg + O2 produces 2MgO and energy.

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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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