Combustion Reaction: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:00 Combustion Reaction Defined
  • 0:30 Examples of Combustion…
  • 1:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Reed
Chemical reactions occur every day. Some of them are quite useful to us. In this lesson, you will learn about chemical reactions that are known as combustion reactions.

Combustion Reaction Defined

Chemical reactions are very common. A chemical reaction is any process by which the atoms of one or more substances are rearranged to form different substances. There are numerous types of chemical reactions. They are typically classified by what happens during the reaction to the reactants as well as the type of product that is formed as a result of the reaction. A combustion reaction is a reaction that occurs when a substance reacts with oxygen, releasing energy in the form of heat and light.

Examples of Combustion Reactions

Combustion reactions are very common because oxygen readily reacts with many substances. One combustion reaction that has been very important throughout history is the burning of coal. Coal is composed of carbon. Whenever the coal is heated, it reacts with oxygen in the atmosphere and burns, giving off a large amount of heat. This is why coal has been used for a long time as a source of heat and energy.

Methane gas belongs to a group of substances known as hydrocarbons and is the major component of natural gas. All of these hydrocarbons contain hydrogen and carbon and burn readily with oxygen in the atmosphere to produce water and carbon dioxide as they give off heat and light.

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