Organic Chemistry/Introduction to reactions/Combustion

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Combustion is the simplest and most basic organic reaction, so simple that it is often overlooked or taken for granted in organic chemistry texts and classes.


Hydrocarbon + O2 → H2O + CO2

Combustion is the breakdown of a compound in combination with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and water. Water and carbon dioxide are both very stable and low-energy, and the atoms that make up these molecules go to form them releasing energy. This energy is heat and light that is the source for campfires and internal combustion engines.