Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1983, 48, 1963-1968

Thermal decomposition of magnesium sesquicarbide

Bohumil Hájek, Pavel Karen and Vlastimil Brožek

Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Prague Institute of Chemical Technology, 166 28 Prague 6


The structure of Mg2C3 and the course of its decomposition were studied. The powder X-ray diffraction patterns were analyzed to obtain the lattice parameters for hexagonal Mg2C3, a = 743.4 ± 0.5 pm, c = 1 056.4 ± 1.6 pm. Thermal decomposition data were obtained for temperatures 670-740 °C and pressure 130 Pa; they could be fitted satisfactorily by kinetic equations for various processes, including the 1 st order decomposition reaction, and so the controlling phenomenon of the reaction cannot be deduced based on the kinetic data. The 1 st order rate constants and reaction halflives were evaluated for various temperatures and approximated by the Arrhenius equation to calculate the parameters AA = 1.97 . 1014 s-1, EA = 333 kJ mol-1. The conditions of synthesis of Mg2C3 are discussed from the point of view of the choice of a suitable hydrocarbon for the reaction with magnesium. The thermal stability of the sesquicarbide increases with increasing pressure; it could be formed from dicarbide and sustained even at a temperature of 1 450 °C by applying a pressure as high as 6 GPa.