Combustion, or not Combustion?

1. Nov 13, 2007

Soley101

what is needed for combustion?

I have this experiment NH4NO3 reacts to form (with chlorine as catalyst) N2O and water

the experiment is called oxidation of zinc, so another equation is Zn and NH4NO3 react to form ZnO and water. Anyways, the result is a blue flame and smoke

Combustion is the production of heat and light when something reacts with oxygen. I know that all combustion reactions are automatically oxidation reduction reactions. But how do i determine if oxygen is being used in this reaction to fuel the flame. Basically, is theis a redox and combustion reaction.

2. Nov 13, 2007

lightarrow

Sorry, could you rephrase your question more precisely?
NH4NO3 + heat --> N2O + 2H2O
NH4NO3 + Zn --> N2 + ZnO + 2H2O
or what exactly?

3. Nov 13, 2007

Soley101

How do I know if this reaction is a combustion reACTION? wHERE DOES IT REACT WITH OXYGEN TO PRODUCE HEAT AND LIGHT.

4. Nov 13, 2007

lightarrow

Which reaction of the ones I've written?

NH4NO3 + heat --> N2O + 2H2O
Fuel: NH4+ [to be more precise: nitrogen(-III) in NH4+]
Oxidant: NO3- [nitrogen(+V) in NO3-]

NH4NO3 + Zn --> N2 + ZnO + 2H2O
Fuel: NH4+ and Zn
Oxidant: NO3-

So, yes, they both are combustions, even the first one (AFAIK).

Anyway, maybe someone could define a reaction as "combustion" only if a fuel reacts with oxygen (it would sound strange to me); I don't know how they defined it in your school/books/ecc.

Last edited: Nov 13, 2007