Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Combustion reactions

  1. Feb 6, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Does combustion reactions always result in water and carbon dioxide being formed, can it just have water or just carbon dioxide, or does water and carbon dioxide not need to be products.

    Furthermore would Iron(II)oxide(s) + oxygen(g)--> iron(III)oxide(s) be considered a combustion or synthesis reaction.

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution
    I've looked at a few sources on the internet including wikipedia, but they all seem to contradict what my book or what my teacher says in some way. I would really appreciate if someone could clear this up for me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2007 #2


    User Avatar

    Combustion is a very broad class of chemical reactions, and no - it does not always result in carbon dioxide and water. But for general purposes (i.e. AP Chemistry, etc), combustion just refers to the heating of a hydrocarbon in the presence of diatomic oxygen, which will always give carbon dioxide and water.
  4. Feb 6, 2007 #3
    Personally i use the general rule for combustion that fire safety experts often tout, its the combustion triangle. There are three requirements for a combustion, Heat, Fuel and an Oxidiser. That's it, if you meet all three you can call it combustion provided its exothermic.

    I've not come across any exceptions to that rule yet.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook