# Does a lit candle provide an example of chemical change?

Jul 4, 2017

Chemical change is characterized by the formation of new substances, and the making and breaking of strong chemical bonds......

#### Explanation:

So when we light a candle, typically we combust paraffin, ${C}_{31} {H}_{64}$, an alkane. It may be that we combust more volatile alkanes that are entrained in the wax....

The complete combustion reaction of any alkane is given by.....

$\text{Alkane + dioxygen "rarr" carbon dioxide and water}$

The combustion of candle wax would never be complete; there would be incomplete combustion to give $C$, and (small quantities of) $C O$.

And thus burning a candle gives 2 new substances, and breaks strong $C - H$ (and some $C - C$) bonds.......This is chemical change by definition.