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The Formula for Magnesium Oxide.

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Introduction

The Formula for Magnesium Oxide Planning experimental procedures: Aim: To work out the formula for magnesium oxide by finding out its mass when magnesium is burnt in oxygen. Apparatus/ diagram: 5-10cm of magnesium ribbon, crucible with lid, scales, tripod, tongs, pipe clay triangle, Bunsen burner, heat proof mat. Tongs Lid Crucible Magnesium ribbon Pipe clay triangle Tripod Method: clean the magnesium ribbon and loosely coil it. Weigh the crucible with the lid, then with the magnesium in it as well. Place the crucible with the magnesium on the pipe clay triangle and heat on a blue flame. Lift the lid from time to time using the tongs, to allow more air to get in so all the magnesium reacts. Try to allow as little smoke to escape as possible. Heat until no more change is visible. Obtaining evidence: Hypothesis: I think that the formula for magnesium oxide is MgO as magnesium has two free electrons, and oxygen needs two electrons to gain a full "outer shell". By gaining these two electrons, oxygen will have a 2- charge, and by losing two electrons, the magnesium will have a 2+ charge. ...read more.

Middle

______________ = 0.16g = 0.0066 moles 24 Ratio magnesium : oxygen - 1:2 approx Mass 3: magnesium = 0.14g magnesium oxide = 0.24g Oxygen = 0.24- 0.14 = 0.10g ____________ = 0.10g = 0.00625 moles 16 . ______________ = 0.14g = 0.00583 moles 24 Ratio magnesium : oxygen - 1:1 approx Each time we lifted the lid, the magnesium glowed brightly because we were letting more oxygen in to react with the magnesium. The smoke which was escaping and the ash deposit were magnesium oxide. We can see from the graph that the points are mostly clustered between the lines representing MgO and Mg2O. They do not all lie on or around the line for MgO as we might have expected, and none are anywhere near the line for MgO2. The reason for this is that - as none of the points are on the line or below it (except one) - not all the magnesium had reacted, as there would still be some in the centre of the strip (inside it) which would not be reacted. The result which did appear below the line for MgO was anomalous. ...read more.

Conclusion

There would be less of a chance of magnesium oxide being lost, or not being reacted. It also has the advantage of not having the risk of the magnesium reacting with the nitrogen in the air. This alternative way of performing the experiment would be to react a strip of magnesium with nitric acid. This would add the oxygen to the metal indirectly and so has the advantage of the ability to control the vigorousness of the reaction, and so make it safer. The acid would be added slowly until all the magnesium had reacted, and then the product would be placed in a fume cupboard. The contents of the crucible would be heated lightly first to get rid of the water, then the solid residue would be heated very strongly to drive off the brown fumes of nitrogen dioxide. When no more brown fumes could be seen, the crucible would be cooled and weighed. These reactions would have then occurred: Magnesium (s) + Nitric acid (aq) Hydrogen (g) + Magnesium + Nitrogen oxide (s) dioxide (g) 2Mg + 2HNO3 H2 + 2MgO + 2NO2 Source: Discovering chemistry 2 - M A Atherton & J K Lawrence 1 ...read more.

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