image_sci_matter033.jpgDescription | Examples | Real-Life Examples


Description of Suspect and Behavior (Description of Reaction & General Equation)
A combustion reaction is when all substances in a compound are combined with oxygen, which then produces carbon dioxide and water. Combustion is commonly called burning. It is an exothermic reaction, which means heat is produced and is easily distinguished. Combustion occurs predominantly in automobiles, homes, and in factories.


Examples Illustrating the behavior (Equations)
Methane Combustion:
CH4[g] + 2 O2[g] -> CO2[g] + 2 H2O[g] + energy
2H2+ O2 --> 2H2O
C6H12O6 + 6O2 ---> 6CO2 + 6H2O
C10H8 + 12 O2 ---> 10 CO2 + 4 H2O
C21H24N2O4 + O2 ---> CO2 + H2O + NO2
C2H5SH + O2 ---> CO2 + H2O + SO2
2C2 H6 + 7O2 ---> 4CO2 + 6H2 O
C4 H8 + 6O2 --->4CO2 + 4H2 O
C3H8 + 5 O2 ---> 3 CO2 + 4 H2O

Real-Life Examples

Real-Life examples showing this behavior and documentation (with equations and video/picture)
gasoline + air ---> CO2 + water
external image gasoline%20prices-saidaonline.jpg

Cellular Respiration: Process where the cells in our bodies obtain energy
C6H12O6 + 6O2 => 6CO2 + 6H2O + energy (glucose + oxygen = carbon dioxide + water + energy)
Thomas Roberts
Complete combustion of methane

Methane + oxygen => carbon dioxide and water
CH4 + 2O2 => CO2 + 2H2O

Incomplete combustion of methane gas producing carbon monoxide
methane + oxygen ---> carbon and water
CH4 + O2 ---> C + 2H2O

U.S. industries rely on combustion systems for heat and steam generation. The systems enable indispensable industrial processes, such as heating metals and chemical feedstocks, as well as the ability to change the mechanical and chemical properties of materials. Major end users include energy-intensive industrial sectors, such as petroleum, metals, and forest products.

C + O2 external image arrow.gifCO2
CH4 + 2O2 external image arrow.gifCO2 + 2H2O
(Buring of Coal)

external image industry.jpg

Complete combustion of fossil fuels:
Fossil fuels are made up of hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are compounds that contain the elements hydrogen and carbon. Examples are methane, CH4, propane, C3H8, butane, C4H10 and octane, C8H18Hydrocarbons readily burn or undergo combustion reactions.Combustion may be complete or incomplete.
Complete combustion of fossil fuels results the production carbon dioxide and water. The incomplete combustion of fossil fuels results in the formation of carbon monoxide and soot (carbon).

Student Experiments
Re-creation of the crime (Student experiment illustrating the reaction with video)

Alcohol Rocket
David Mellott and Thomas Roberts