Fire and Flame 38 – Magnesium Burning in CO2

Fire and Flame  38 – Magnesium Burning in CO2


The tank over here is filled with carbon dioxide gas. Now carbon dioxide is heavier than air. Heavier than air, so this tank is
filled with carbon dioxide and it should put out a fire. So I’m
going to put into this some petrol, some cotton wool soaked in
petrol set alight and it should be able to put it out. Okay. So here we are. Burning petrol into the carbon dioxide. And it’s gone out. Lets try again. So carbon dioxide is heavier than air. So it’s staying in the tank but as soon
as I put the burning petrol in it goes out. Now could this be used to put out
burning magnesium? Well let’s try it. So I have some magnesium here and I’m going to set this on fire and see if we can put this out in the carbon dioxide. So here we are, the magnesium is burning and lower it in to the carbon dioxide and actually it’s burning even more
vigorously than it did before and if I put in the burning petrol it’s still put out but I can’t light my petrol on the magnesium. So the petrol will not burn in the carbon dioxide but the magnesium will. Okay. So carbon dioxide is very good for
putting out fires that form carbon dioxide or water but it’s no good
at putting out the magnesium. Well what’s happening here? If I reach in and take this out, well we see a lot of smoke forming on the surface here, this is magnesium oxide and if we look at what’s left we see some white magnesium oxide but deep inside here there’s a lot of black and this black is
carbon that’s been formed when the magnesium
has stolen the oxygen from the carbon dioxide so forming magnesium oxide and leaving
behind carbon. So we can show this with a chemical
reaction, a chemical equation here. So this has magnesium reacting with carbon dioxide, so Mg is the magnesium, carbon dioxide reacts together to form magnesium oxide, the magnesium steals the oxygen from the
carbon dioxide leaving behind the black carbon and also
releasing energy so the magnesium burns in the carbon dioxide. So we can’t use
carbon dioxide to put out burning magnesium.

8 thoughts on “Fire and Flame 38 – Magnesium Burning in CO2

  1. burning magnesium inside catalytic converter, can convert co2 inside catalytic converter to ash, just like diesel filter
    source : 'Regeneration is the process of removing the accumulated soot from the filter' in
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_particulate_filter#Mode_of_action
    from
    ' diesel particulate filter' in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_scandal#VW_anti-pollution_system

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