How does combustion of hydrocarbons work?

1 Answer
Feb 5, 2016

Answer:

Combustion is is a complex sequence of redox reactions involving a fuel, typically a hydrocarbon, and an oxidant, typically oxygen. The energy evolved by the reaction is used to produce work.

Explanation:

We can usually easily write the reaction stoichiometry for the combustion of any fuel. The products of complete combustion of a hydrocarbon are carbon dioxide and water. For the simplest hydrocarbon, methane:

#CH_4(g) + 2O_2(g) rarr CO_2(g) +2H_2O(g) + Delta#

The #Delta# symbol denotes the output of energy, because strong #C=O# and #O-H# bonds are being formed.

Can you represent the combustion of ethane, #C_2H_6#, and propane, #C_3H_8#?