Combustion of magnesium in chlorine

The cylinder is filled with white smoke after adding magnesium

Scientific name: Magnesium oxidation with chlorine

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Safety

Wear eye protection goggles. Work with poisonous gases only outdoors or in a hood.

Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.

Reaction formula

Mg + Cl2 → MgCl2

Reagents

  1. Chlorine
  2. Magnesium

Step-by-step instruction

WARNING! This experiment is dangerous! You should NOT perform this at home. ONLY carry out this experiment, if you are a trained chemist, and you understand local safety and legal requirements, which are required to perform such experiments

  1. Obtain chlorine gas. There are many different ways.
  2. Collect chlorine gas into a chemical cylinder.
  3. Ignite the magnesium shavings over a gas burner or alcohol lamp.
  4. Quickly add the glowing hot shavings into the cylinder with chlorine.
  5. Watch the cylinder fill with white smoke.

Scientific background

Chlorine gas is a strong oxidant. Metallic magnesium is oxidized to magnesium chloride, which forms the smoke. The reaction takes place at the interface very slowly, so igniting is necessary.

Danger:
Coolness:
Difficulty:

Published on 10 March 2015

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst