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

Nov 25, 2016

$2 M g \left(s\right) + {O}_{\text{2}} \left(g\right) \to 2 M g O$

#### Explanation:

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.

$2 M g \left(s\right) + {O}_{\text{2}} \left(g\right) \to 2 M g O$

Oxygen is a diatomic molecule and is almost always reacting with elements as a gas, ${O}_{\text{2}}$.

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 :)