Combustion Reactions: Summary

The answers to the ConcepTests are given below and will open in a separate window. 
Key points from this module:
  • Complete combustion of a fuel produces carbon dioxide, whereas incomplete combustion produces CO.
  • Percent excess air is based on complete combustion, and relates the moles of air fed to the stoichiometric moles of air required for complete combustion.
  • Material balances can be used to determine the empirical formula of a combustion fuel.
  • Combustion reaction outputs can be described on both wet and dry bases, in which a wet basis includes the water vapor in the output stream and a dry basis does not consider that water vapor.
From studying this module, you should now be able to:
  • Determine the percent excess air in a combustion reaction.
  • Use material balances to calculate flue gas composition on wet and dry bases for combustion reaction systems.
  • Determine the empirical formula of a combustion fuel based upon combustion results.
  • Explain the difference between complete and incomplete combustion.
Prepared by Nathan Jarvey, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder