Classic Chemistry Experiments : The decomposition of magnesium silicide


This experiment illustrates a reaction with low activation energy. Magnesium reacts with silicon to produce magnesium silicide. This then decomposes in dilute acid to produce silane, which spontaneously combusts on contact with air.

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This experiment is one of a collection of 100 experiments in a book called Classic Chemistry Experiments. You can buy a copy via the Royal Society of Chemistry online shop for £27.50.