Magnesium fireworks

How to make magnesium fireworks

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Per­form this ex­per­i­ment in sun­glass­es and in a well-ven­ti­lat­ed area. Ob­serve cau­tion when work­ing with fire. The bright flame pro­duced as mag­ne­sium burns can be harm­ful to eyes.

Reagents and equip­ment

  • mag­ne­sium pow­der;
  • can­dle.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Sprin­kle mag­ne­sium pow­der on a burn­ing can­dle. En­joy the white, fire­work-like sparks!

Process de­scrip­tion

Mag­ne­sium pow­der is made up of very small par­ti­cles. In con­trast to a large piece of mag­ne­sium, these par­ti­cles’ size al­lows them to be sur­round­ed by a large quan­ti­ty of ox­i­diz­ing mol­e­cules (in this case, oxy­gen and ni­tro­gen). This al­lows them to burn eas­i­ly in the can­dle’s flame, form­ing mag­ne­sium ox­ide and mag­ne­sium ni­tride.

2Mg + O₂ = 2MgO

3Mg + N₂ = Mg₃N₂