   Chapter 21, Problem 35PS

Chapter
Section
Textbook Problem

When magnesium bums in air, it forms both an oxide and a nitride. Write balanced equations for the formation of both compounds.

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation: The balanced chemical equation for the reaction of magnesium with air has to be stated.

Concept introduction: The reaction of magnesium with air produces two compounds. Both nitrogen and oxygen are present in the air. Magnesium reacts with oxygen to form magnesium oxide and with nitrogen to form magnesium nitride. The formula for magnesium oxide is MgO and the formula for magnesium nitride is Mg3N2.

Magnesium is a reactive metal and reacts with both oxygen and nitrogen in the air forming two compounds. The balanced chemical equation is written by combining magnesium with oxygen to form oxide and magnesium with nitrogen to form the nitride.

The stoichiometric coefficients are multiplied with the compounds in the chemical equation to have an equal number of atoms on both sides of the equation.

Explanation

Magnesium belongs to group 2A of periodic table and thus has +2 oxidation number. Magnesium loses two electrons to attain noble gas configuration.

MgMg2++2e

Oxygen belongs to the sulfur family and exists in -2 oxidation number. These two electrons are gained by the oxygen leading to the formation of magnesium.

O2+2e2O2

The number of electrons in both the equations is same. Magnesium has a charge of +2 and oxygen has a charge of 2. Thus, the formula of the product formed is MgO.

The stoichiometric coefficients are multiplied with species to have an equal number of atoms on both the reactant and product side, for a balanced chemical equation. Since oxygen is present as O2 in the reaction, hence the stoichiometric coefficient of MgO is 2 due to which magnesium also has a stoichiometric coefficient of 2

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