Balanced Equations for The Combustion of Alkanes

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 methane is:
CH4 + 2O2 GIVES CO2 + 2H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of methane is:
2CH4 + 3O2 GIVES 2CO + 4H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of ethane is:
2C2H6 + 7O2 GIVES 4CO2 + 6H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of ethane is:
2C2H6 + 5O2 GIVES 4CO + 6H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of propane is:
C3H8 + 5O2 GIVES 3CO2 + 4H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of propane is:
2C3H8 + 7O2 GIVES 6CO + 8H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of butane is:
2C4H10 + 13O2 GIVES 8CO2 + 10H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of butane is:
2C4H10 + 9O2 GIVES 8CO + 10H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of pentane is:
C5H12 + 8O2 GIVES 5CO2 + 6H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of pentane is:
2C5H12 + 11O2 GIVES 10CO + 12H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of hexane is:
2C6H14 + 19O2 GIVES 12CO2 + 14H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of hexane is:
2C6H14 + 13O2 GIVES 12CO + 14H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of heptane is:
C7H16 + 11O2 GIVES 7CO2 + 8H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of heptane is:
2C7H16 + 15O2 GIVES 14CO + 16H2O

The balanced equation for the complete combustion of octane is:
2C8H18 + 25O2 GIVES 16CO2 + 18H2O

The balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of octane is:
2C8H18 + 17O2 GIVES 16CO + 18H2O

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. The general equations are given below.

The general balanced equation for the complete combustion of an alkane is:
CxHy + (x+y/4)O2 GIVES (x)CO2 + (y/2)H2O for alkanes with an odd number of carbon atoms; and
(2)CxHy + (x+y/2)O2 GIVES (2x)CO2 + (y)H2O for alkanes with an even number of carbon atoms

The general balanced equation for the incomplete combustion of an alkane is:
(2)CxHy + [(2x+y)/2]O2 GIVES (2x)CO + (y)H2O

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