Balanced Equations for The Combustion of Alcohols

There are cases where it is important to know the ratio in which chemicals react with one another.

.This ratio is called its stoichiometry. Adding this ratio to a known chemical reaction is called balancing and it is a necessary skill for students of chemistry. In the equations below, O2 is oxygen, CO2 is carbon dioxide, H2O is water, and CO is carbon monoxide.

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of methanol is:
2CH3OH + 3O2 GIVES 2CO2 + 4H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of methanol is:
CH3OH + O2 GIVES CO + 2H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of ethanol is:
C2H5OH + 3O2 GIVES 2CO2 + 3H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of ethanol is:
C2H5OH + 2O2 GIVES 2CO + 3H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of propanol is:
2C3H7OH + 9O2 GIVES 6CO2 + 8H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of propanol is:
C3H7OH + 3O2 GIVES 3CO + 4H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of butanol is:
C4H9OH + 6O2 GIVES 4CO2 + 5H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of butanol is:
C4H9OH + 4O2 GIVES 4CO + 5H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of pentanol is:
2C5H11 + 15O2 GIVES 10CO2 + 12H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of pentanol is:
C5H11OH + 5O2 GIVES 5CO + 6H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of hexanol is:
C6H13OH + 9O2 GIVES 6CO2 + 7H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of hexanol is:
C6H13OH + 6O2 GIVES 6CO + 7H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of heptanol is:
2C7H15OH + 21O2 GIVES 14CO2 + 16H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of heptanol is:
C7H15OH + 7O2 GIVES 7CO + 8H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of octanol is:
C8H17OH + 12O2 GIVES 8CO2 + 9H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of octanol is:
C8H17OH + 8O2 GIVES 8CO + 9H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of nonanol is:
2C9H19OH + 27O2 GIVES 18CO2 + 20H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of nonanol is:
C9H19OH + 9O2 GIVES 9CO + 10H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of decanol is:
C10H21OH + 15O2 GIVES 10CO2 + 11H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of decanol is:
C10H21OH + 10O2 GIVES 10CO + 11H2O

A general equation can be deduced from the above equations so that it is possible to calculate the stoichiometry for the combustion of a given number of carbon and hydrogen atoms in the alcohol’s alkyl group. The general equations are given below.

The general balanced equation for the complete combustion of an alcohol is:
(2)CxHyOH + (3x)O2 GIVES (2x)CO2 + [2(x+1)]H2O for alcohols with an odd number of carbon atoms; and
CxHyOH + (3x/2)O2 GIVES (x)CO2 + (x+1)H2O for alcohols with an even number of carbon atoms.

The general balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of an alcohol is:
CxHyOH + (x)O2 GIVES (x)CO + (x+1)H2O for alcohols with an odd number of carbon atoms; and
CxHyOH + (x)O2 GIVES (x)CO + (x+1)H2O for alcohols with an even number of carbon atoms.

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