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Burning magnesium ribbon in air removes…

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Burning magnesium ribbon in air removes which of the following?

(i) oxygen (ii) nitrogen (iii) argon and (iv) carbon(iv)oxide

  • A. i and iv
  • B. i, ii, iii and iv
  • C. i only
  • D. i and ii only




When magnesium ribbon is burned in air, some of it will combine with the oxygen component to form magnesium oxide.

Also, some of the ribbon will combine with Nitrogen component in the air to form magnesium nitride.

So, some oxygen and nitrogen is removed from air.

Now for the right answer to the above question:

  1. Option A is incorrect. carbon dioxide composition in air is too small, and so would not likely react with the ribbon.
  2. Option B is incorrect. argon is very stable and inactive, and so, could not easily be removed from air.
  3. C is incorrect. yes, magnesium ribbon will remove oxygen from air, but not only oxygen.
  4. D is the correct answer. Nitrogen in addition to oxygen will be removed from air to form nitride, and oxide of magnesium.


You may please note these/this:

  • Natural air contains oxygen, nitrogen, noble gasses and carbon dioxide.
  • There is a difference between burning magnesium in air and burning magnesium in oxygen.
  • burning it in oxygen will rather give magnesium oxide only.

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/ culled from 2019 JAMB-UTME Chemistry question 9 /

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  1. 0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

    Don’t be in a hurry to ignore the fact that Nitrogen is also removed from air in this reaction.

    Andrew Chidi - Jun 11, 2021 | Reply

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