Balancing Combustion Reactions

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Irene Nguyen 2J
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:44 pm

Balancing Combustion Reactions

Postby Irene Nguyen 2J » Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:04 pm

When we're asked to create a balanced equation for the combustion of a compound, is it always assumed that its a variation of said compound + O2 -> H2O + CO2? Is there a case where there's more than one reactant aside from O2 and is this formula only applicable to hydrocarbon compounds?

Hannah Lechtzin 1K
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:31 pm

Re: Balancing Combustion Reactions

Postby Hannah Lechtzin 1K » Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:31 pm

As far as I know this applies to all combustion reactions unless you are told that some other reactant is involved. This is because heat and oxygen are what makes something combust.

Natalie 3k
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:11 pm

Re: Balancing Combustion Reactions

Postby Natalie 3k » Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:10 pm

From what I know, the things that make it a combustion reaction are that a hydrocarbon is reacting with oxygen to produce H20 and CO2. So yes I assume its always a variation of said compounds and only applicable to hydrocarbon compounds.

Sarah Salam 1J
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Re: Balancing Combustion Reactions

Postby Sarah Salam 1J » Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:44 pm

I believe Prof. Lavelle mentioned in either a video module or a lecture that combustion specifically is a reaction with O2 to make H2O and CO2, so I think it is safe to assume that a question asking about combustion will be that equation.

Ryan Hoang 1D
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:49 pm

Re: Balancing Combustion Reactions

Postby Ryan Hoang 1D » Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:46 pm

I think that the others did an excellent job at explaining it. Yes, combustion requires oxygen, O2. Occasionally, there might be other elements that are burned in combustion however, and so while H2O and CO2 would be made as well, the other element could be found in both the initial compound and in products as well. But overall, if there are no additional elements, the equation would be compound +O2--> H2O+CO2

Savannah Torella 1L
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:40 pm

Re: Balancing Combustion Reactions

Postby Savannah Torella 1L » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:33 pm

From my past learnings, this is indeed the case. When there is a combustion, that means that oxygen and heat is involved. With hydrocarbon compounds, H2O and CO2 are produced. So I think it's safe to say that + O2 -> H2O + CO2 is always used for combustion reactions. Although, I think there are occasions where there can be other elements being combusted, which means that element will be both an reactant and product. I have a feeling they will provide us with that information if that is ever the case.

Ayesha Aslam-Mir 3C
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:43 pm

Re: Balancing Combustion Reactions

Postby Ayesha Aslam-Mir 3C » Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:32 pm

In a combustion reaction, a hydrocarbon is combusted (burns?) in oxygen, and the resulting products are carbion dioxide and water. I was wondering is hydrocarbons must always follow the same structure (same amount of carbons and oxygens), or if it doesn't matter the empirical formulas as long as the equation can be balanced? Additionally, will combustion of oxygen and other materials besides hydrocarbons create similar types of reactions (same products created with different ratios of the same reactant contributing to creation of the products?)

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