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Chemical Equations of Alkanols (1 Viewer)

LIV/////

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Jun 13, 2019
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When writing out the incomplete combustion of an alcohol i've noticed some people only have the products being carbon monoxide and water; while others have carbon carbon monoxide and water and still others have carbon, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and water.

Just wondering if any of these are the most accurate way of writing incomplete combustion equations or are they all considered correct.
(I have a prac assessment soon and don't want to loose marks over a stupid mistake)
 

jazz519

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Hi technically when you have incomplete combustion you are making a bit of everything (some reactions would tend to favour making one thing over another, but you can't really predict that easily using HSC knowledge)

But the basis of an incomplete combustion reaction is that it needs to contain AT LEAST ONE of the following:
- CO
- C

You can sometimes produce both and with co2 as well

or without CO2 and maybe only one of the CO or C

However, the one thing to consider in exams is they often give hints as to what they want the product to be. They might say something like black powder or residue formed --> can only be due to C

Or a poisonous gas was made --> due to CO

where in those two cases you MUST include the C or CO

If I as a tutor was marking that type of equation I wouldn't mind as balancing is sometimes easier if you omit something, however, it is best to double check with what your teacher wants as not all teachers even allow things like:
- balancing equations with fractions and that type of thing
so safest option do what your teachers says, but in HSC exam they won't care
 

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