What type of combustion occurs when there is a plentiful supply of #O_2#?

1 Answer
Jun 25, 2017

Answer:

I'll say it's complete combustion.

Explanation:

For complete combustion, which is just "normal" combustion so-to-speak, is when a substance burns in the presence of oxygen (air). It's generally understood that the oxygen is present in excess.

On the contrary, incomplete combustion is when there is not enough #"O"_2# to carry out complete combustion.

For complete combustion of a hydrocarbon, for example liquid propane (#"C"_3"H"_8#), the products are always #"H"_2"O"# and #"CO"_2#:

#"C"_3"H"_8 (l) + 5"O"_2 (g) rarr 3"CO"_2 (g) + 4"H"_2"O"(g)#

For incomplete combustion (deficiency of oxygen), the products are instead #"CO"# and #"H"_2"O"#:

#"C"_3"H"_8 (l) + 3"O"_2 (g) rarr 2"CO" (g) + 4"H"_2"O"(g)#

Which you can see uses up less oxygen.

This process is rather undesirable, because it can also produce soot (carbon) and poisonous carbon monoxide.