What is the balanced equation for combustion of octane?

My teacher asked me how many Liters of carbon dioxide does a van spew if the carburator consumes 5.67L of Gas (C8H18), without giving me the rest of the equation. Is 2 C8H18 + 25 O2 = 18 H2O + 16 CO2 correct?
Yancarlo Mondriguez

Yes, Yancarlo, you have it right. Completely burning a fuel that contains C produces CO2(g); if the fuel contains H, H2O(l) is also produced. Any oxygen that was present in the fuel will end up in the carbon dioxide and water. Other elements in the fuel can produce additional products. For example, S in the fuel produces SO2(g).

When balancing the equation, you have to add enough O2 to the reactant side to completely balance the oxygens in the CO2 and H2O products.

For more about the individual steps used, see 10 tips for balancing simple equations.

Author: Fred Senese senese@antoine.frostburg.edu



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