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What Is Combustion?

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Definition of combustion - definition

The chemical process in which a substance reacts with oxygen to give off heat is called combustion.
Examples are ethane, wood, propane.

Combustion or burning - definition

Combustion is an oxidation reaction. For the reaction to take place, a fuel and an oxidant should be there. Substances undergoing the combustion are known as fuels whereas in burning oxygen combines with another molecule to produce an oxide.

Examples of combustible and non combustible substances - definition

Combustible substances: Material that rapidly burns. Eg. wood, petrol, LPG, coal
non combustible substances: Material that does not rapidly burn. Eg., sand, glass, water, stone.

Suporter of combustion - definition

The substances which supports burning are called as supporter of combustion. Eg., .

Non supporter of combustion - definition

The substance does not support combustion or burning but may burn itself is called as non supporter of combustion. Eg. .

Conditions favourable for combustion - definition

1) Presence of air (oxygen)
2) Flammable material
3) Temperature above ignition temperature

Experiments which show that air is essential for burning - definition

Fix a lighted candle on a table.Put a glass chimney over the candle and rest it on a few wooden blocks in such a way that air can either enter the chimney.Observe what happens to the flame.Now remove the blocks and let the chimney rest on the table.We find out that as glass chimney is covered by wooden plank air is not allowed to enter in chamber hence candle lights off because air is essential for burning because it contain oxygen.

DIfferent fuels while burning - definition

Solid fuel refers to various types of solid material that are used as fuel to produce energy and provide heating, usually released through combustion. Solid fuels include wood (see wood fuel), charcoal, peat, coal, Hexamine fueltablets, and pellets made from wood (see wood pellets), corn, wheat, rye and other grains.

Burning wood is an example of a chemical reaction in which wood in the presence of heat and oxygen is transformed into carbon dioxide, water vapour, and ash.

Result of combustion - result

When organic molecules combust the reaction products are carbon dioxide and water (as well as heat). For example consider the combustion of methanol (rubbing alcohol): Of course, not all combustion reactions release and water, e.g., the combustion of magnesium metal.

Related Concepts

Types of Combustion


Ignition Temperature


Ways to Control Fire