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Why should a magnesium ribbon be cleaned before burning in air?

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Magnesium ribbon should be cleaned before burning it in air to remove the oxide layer from it which may prevent or slow down the burning of magnesium ribbon.

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Magnesium ribbon should be cleaned with sandpaper before burning in air because Magnesium is very reactive element which rapidly reacts with oxygen in the air to form a white layer of magnesium oxide, which may prevent or slow down the burning of magnesium ribbon .
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