How do you write a balanced equation for the combination of magnesium and oxygen to form magnesium oxide, #MgO#?

1 Answer

#2 Mg (s) + O_"2" (g) -> 2 MgO#


First, we need to identify the type of bond and reaction. This is an ionic bond so atoms are giving and accepting electrons. This is a synthesis reaction.

Magnesium has a charge of #2+#, while oxygen has a charge of #2-#. The burning of magnesium metal reacts with oxygen found in the air (oxygen gas) to form magnesium oxide.

#2 Mg (s) + O_"2" (g) -> 2 MgO#

Oxygen is a diatomic molecule and is almost always reacting with elements as a gas, #O_"2"#.

Here is a short video showing the reaction of magnesium and oxygen. The white ash and smoke formed in the reaction is the magnesium oxide.

Hope this helps :)