Monday, October 10, 2011

Magnesium Oxide?

Today, when cooking lunch, I accidentally turned the wrong knob on the electric stove. As a result, in the few minutes that I was away, a cooking pot cover was being burnt.

So you can imagine how frantic I was when I returned to the stove and saw that the glass pot cover was right on top of the glowing coil. And since the cover was large enough for the coil to fit inside it, I was really afraid that the coil had overheated.

Fortunately, it hadn't. However, as I got closer, I saw that there was some white stuff on the coil, and that the glass cover appeared to have been 'burnt', with some white fume-like white pattern on it.

Then, after waiting for the pot cover and the coil to cool, I tried to wipe the white stuff off of them. And surprisingly, with just some water, the white stuff came off extremely easily.

The white compound must have been some kind of metal oxide, for it was clear that it came from the small metal parts of the pot cover. And, after some Internet research, I can say that it was most likely magnesium oxide, for the other metal oxides either have different colors or cannot be produced just by heating the metal.

Anyway, I am really glad that this was all my mistake had caused. It really could have been much worse.