Empirical Formula of Magnesium Oxide

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Empirical Formula of Magnesium Oxide


Aim: The aim of this experiment was to determine the empirical formula of magnesium oxide.

·Crucible and lid
·Bunsen burner
·Magnesium ribbon (0.2g)
·Steel wool
·Crucible tongs
·Pipe clay triangle


1.Obtain a clean, dry crucible and lid, then heat them for approximately 5 minutes over a Bunsen burner 2.Clean the surface of a 20 cm strip of magnesium ribbon using steel wool 3.Coil the magnesium ribbon, so that it fits into the crucible 4.Weigh crucible and lid on a balance, and record the mass

5.Place magnesium ribbon into crucible, replace the lid and weigh once more 6.Heat the crucible and its content with the lid off until the magnesium begins to glow 7.Replace the lid and heat the crucible strongly

8.Continue to heat the crucible, occasionally lifting the lid with tongs to provide oxygen for the reaction 9.When all magnesium has reacted, remove the lid and heat strongly for 5 minutes 10.Replace crucible lid and allow to cool

11.Reweigh the crucible with its contents and lid

Observations: Once the magnesium was in the crucible and was being heated by the Bunsen burner, it glowed for a brief time. It then caught fire before the lid was placed on top. When it came into contact with the oxygen, the magnesium started glowing extremely bright, and intensely white. The glow became orange after some time. The magnesium ribbon then turned white.


Mass of crucible and lid29.9 g
Mass of crucible, lid and magnesium30.1 g
Mass of magnesium0.2 g
Mass of crucible, lid and magnesium oxide30.3 g
Mass of magnesium oxide0.4 g
Mass of oxygen combined with magnesium 0.2 g


1. a) The mass of magnesium which reacted was 0.2 grams.
b) The mass of oxygen that combined with the magnesium was 0.2 g.

2. What is the empirical formula of magnesium oxide?
Mg0.2 g0.224.310.0080.0081=2...
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