Combustion of Alcohols (combustion of alkanols) Chemistry Tutorial
- An alcohol is an organic (carbon) compound containing the elements carbon (C), hydrogen (H), and oxygen (O).
- Alcohols are a class of organic compounds containing the OH (hydroxyl) functional group.
- Alkanols are alcohols in which the parent hydrocarbon is an alkane.
- Combustion is a chemical reaction in which oxygen gas is a reactant.
- Combustion reactions can be classified as complete combustion or as incomplete combustion
- Complete Combustion of alcohols:
⚛ Excess O2(g) is present to react.
⚛ Reaction products are CO2(g) and H2O(g).
⚛ alcohol + oxygen gas → carbon dioxide gas + water vapour
⚛ Alcohol combusts (burns) with a clean flame.
- Incomplete Combustion of alcohols:
⚛ Insufficient O2(g) is present, that is, there is excess alcohol present.
⚛ O2(g) is the limiting reagent in the reaction.
⚛ Reaction products are either CO(g) and/or C(s) as well as H2O(g).
⚛ example: alcohol + oxygen gas → carbon solid + carbon monoxide gas + water vapour
⚛ Alcohol combusts (burns) with a smokey or sooty flame due to the production of solid carbon.
- Combustion of alcohols releases energy making alcohols useful as fuels.