Why should a magnesium ribbon be cleaned before burning in air?

Magnesium ribbon cleaned
A Magnesium ribbon

Magnesium is a reactive metal. It is a soft metal and available in a lab as a thin ribbon for laboratory experiments.

When the ribbon comes into direct contact with air, its outer layer forms its oxide.

Magnesium oxide is a stable compound and interferes with burning.

2Mg(s) + O2(g) ——> 2MgO(s)

Cleaning of the ribbon scrapes out the outer layer. Now the ribbon is ready for further experiments like burning.

Activity 1.1 Ncert Science class 10 Magnesium ribbon burning
Burning Magnesium ribbon

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