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Finding the Number of Moles of Magnesium and Oxygen in Magnesium Oxide

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IGCSE Practical Assessment Finding the Number of Moles of Magnesium and Oxygen in Magnesium Oxide Aim The aim of this experiment is to burn a known mass of magnesium in air and to find the mass of the magnesium oxide produced. Using the results, you can then calculate the number of moles of magnesium and the number of moles in magnesium oxide. Apparatus - Crucible & lid - 10 cm length of magnesium ribbon - Sandpaper - Tripod - Pipe clay triangle - Bunsen burner - Tongs. Method 1. Before the experiment, find the total mass of the crucible and the lid. 2. Clean a 10cm length of magnesium ribbon using sandpaper, then coil the magnesium ribbon and place it inside the crucible. ...read more.


Remember to note any changes occurring during the reaction and the appearance of the contents of the crucible at the end of the experiment. 5. Let the crucible cool down, then find the total mass of the contents, crucible, and the lid. 6. Use the results to calculate the number of moles of magnesium and oxygen in magnesium oxide. Results Mass measured before the experiment Crucible and lid: 53.08g Crucible, lid & magnesium: 53.17g Magnesium: 53.17g- 53.08g = 53.09g Appearance of magnesium Before experiment: Shiny grey/ silver, ductile/ malleable During experiment (in order): Turns bright orange, releases white smoke, magnesium glows, turns into powder, powder becomes white. After the experiment: white, powdery, brittle, still in shape of coiled magnesium. ...read more.


Different issues can affect the results. E.g. the amount of oxygen reacting with the magnesium can be affected by the number of times you lift the lid during the reaction; the amount of time the reaction takes to complete can be affected by the strength of the Bunsen flame. Also, the magnesium ribbon we used might not be pure magnesium and therefore the magnesium oxide we made from the experiment may contain other materials, which will affect the accuracy of the mass of magnesium and oxygen. To improve the quality of the experiment, it's important to use pure magnesium to make sure that the substance we make only contains the two materials we need, which is oxygen and magnesium. You should also let in reasonable amount of air into the crucible during the experiment to complete the reaction that will provide possibly the most accurate results. ...read more.

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