Combustion of Hydrocarbon

All hydrocarbons undergo combustion with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide (or carbon monoxide/carbon) and water. There are 2 types of combustion:
  1. Complete combustion – organic compounds burn completely which form CO2 and H2O
  2. Incomplete combustion– organic compounds burn with limited supply of O2 which form C (soot), CO, CO2 and H2O.

Example

Complete combustion

C2H6 + 7/2 O2 → 2CO2 + 3H2O

C3H6 + 9/2 O2 → 3CO2 + 3H2O

Incomplete combustion

C2H6 + 5/2 O2 → 2CO + 3H2O

C2H6 + 3/2 O2 → 2C + 3H2O


C3H6 + 3O2 → 3CO + 3H2O

C3H6 + 3/2 O2 → 3C + 3H2O

Note:

  1. The soot from the combustion of a hydrocarbon depends on the percentage of carbon it contains.
  2. Higher carbon percentage in the hydrocarbon molecule will result sootier flame.


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