What Is a Combustion Reaction?A combustion reaction is a major class of chemical reactions. Combustion usually occurs when a hydrocarbon reacts with water to produce carbon dioxide and water. In the more general sense, combustion involves a reaction between any combustible material and an oxidizer to form an oxidized product. Combustion is an exothermic reaction, so it releases heat, but sometimes the reaction proceeds so slowly that a temperature change is not noticeable. Good signs that you are dealing with a combustion reaction include the presence of oxygen as a reactant and carbon dioxide, water and heat as products. Inorganic combustion reactions might not form all of the products, but are recognizable by the reaction of oxygen.
General Form of a Combustion Reactionhydrocarbon + oxygen → carbon dioxde + water
Examples of Combustion Reactions
- combustion of methane
CH4(g) + 2 O2(g) → CO2(g) + 2 H2O(g)
- burning of naphthalene
C10H8 + 12 O2 → 10 CO2 + 4 H2O
- combustion of ethane
2 C2H6 + 7 O2 → 4 CO2 + 6 H2O
More About Types of ReactionsClassifying Chemical Reactions
Video: What Are the Types of Chemical Reactions?
Chemical Reactions Quiz
Types of Inorganic Chemical Reactions