Is hydrocarbon combustion an oxidation reaction with respect to the carbon?

1 Answer
Feb 18, 2017

Answer:

My word, #"combustion reactions"# are an #"oxidation"# reaction with respect to the hydrocarbon...

Explanation:

The combustion of hydrocarbons is vital to our standard of living. You probably cooked your breakfast by using the given reaction:

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

And of course if you drove to school/uni in a motor you utilized the combustion of longer chain hydrocarbons.

And we could put in oxidation numbers and electrons .... carbon is oxidized

#stackrel(-IV)CH_4 +2H_2Orarr stackrel(+IV)CO_2(g)+8H^+ +8e^(-)#

... and oxygen reduced....

#O_2(g) +4H^+ +4e^(-) rarr 2H_2O#

And so we take two of the latter and add this to one of the former, and cancel....