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Question:
Magnesium reacts with water or oxygen easily. Isn’t it dangerous?
In addition, can metal magnesium be stored for a long term because it is easily oxydized?

Answer:
The fuel is always dangerous like gasoline and coal because it effectively burns. Otherwise it can not be used as a fuel.
Metal magnesium has a high thermal conductivity and hence its temperature does not rise higher when the some part is heated. Therefore it is quite difficult to ignite the bulk magnesium.
Thus we need to make the magnesium in a form of thin ribbon in order to shield the heat loss. In this sense, magnesium is safer than gasoline which is evaporated and catches fire.

The surface of metal magnesium is easily oxydized but the oxydized layer is only a few mirometers and the thickness stays in this level. Therefore we can use the magnesium as fuel even if it is kept in open air. We confirmed that the magnesium after being kept in open air for 10 years can be used as fuel as well.
(YABE Takashi)

One Comment to “Safety and preservation of metal magnesium”

  1. [...] 気中の酸素と反応して爆発燃焼する物質であり、昔は写真撮影時にフラッシュとして利用されていたくらいです。 (注:マグネシウムの危険性については、こちらの記事も参照のこと) [...]

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