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Does Magnesium Oxidize?

Does Magnesium Oxidize

Magnesium is an element found in the periodic table and is often used in various industrial and medical applications. But does magnesium oxidize? The answer is yes – magnesium does oxidize when it reacts with oxygen. Let’s take a closer look at the chemistry behind this process.

What Is Oxidation?

First, let’s define what oxidation means. Put simply; oxidation is a reaction between two molecules where one molecule gives away electrons to the other molecule. This causes one of the molecules to become positively charged (oxidized) while the other becomes negatively charged (reduced). When magnesium oxidizes, it typically reacts with oxygen to form magnesium oxide (MgO).

Process of Magnesium Oxidation

When magnesium reacts with oxygen, it undergoes a chemical reaction called oxidation-reduction or redox. During this reaction, the magnesium atoms give away electrons to the oxygen atoms. This causes the magnesium atoms to become positively charged and form Mg2+ cations, while the oxygen atoms become negatively charged O2− anions. This results in MgO being formed due to the reaction between these two elements.

Importance of Magnesium Oxidation

Magnesium oxide plays an important role in many industries because it has several useful properties, such as being highly heat resistant and having good electrical insulation properties. It is also used in some medicines as a dietary supplement due to its ability to help regulate electrolyte levels in your body. Additionally, MgO can be used as a refractory material, which means it can withstand high temperatures without melting or decomposing into its component elements.


Magnesium oxidizes when it comes into contact with oxygen, resulting in MgO forming during this process. This chemical reaction is known as oxidation-reduction or redox for short. It involves the transfer of electrons between two molecules, causing one molecule to be reduced while another gets oxidized in return. Magnesium oxide has several useful properties, which makes it highly valued by many industries because of its heat resistance and electrical insulation capabilities. As you can see, understanding how magnesium oxidizes is important for various reasons!

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