magnesium metallic


Playing with different thermite (metal oxide/magnesium) mixtures. 

  • The first one was a molybdenum(IV) oxide/magnesium mixture what reacted quite violently with a bright white color. 
  • The second was a lithium molybdate (Li2MoO4) mixture with magnesium what burns with an intense orange color and has a quite high reaction heat. 
  • And the third was a strontium carbonate/magnesium mixture what burns with a bright red color.

The only difference between science and screwing around is writing it down.


Preparation of an aryl Grignard reagent and it’s reaction with excess trimethyl borate, forming an aryl boronic acid. 

On the first picture the reddish/brown color of the solvent was caused by iodine what was added as an activator, since I used a few year old magnesium shaving for this reaction. The iodine reacts with the magnesium forming magnesium-bromide at its surface what is a bit soluble in the ether and helps the halide to react with the magnesium metal forming the Grignard reagent (ArMgX where Ar is aryl and X is a halogen, in this case bromide). 

On the second picture the Grignard reagent started to form and a part of it separated from the solution. On the third picture I added a high excess of trimethyl borate what caused a vigorous reaction and a lot magnesium-bromide/methoxide separated as a white participate as seed. After this I only need to add some water, some acid to help the hydrolysis and extract the produced boronic acid from this.