Propane and Oxygen Combustion Question

burn propane
Propane

Problem: We desire to learn how much oxygen is needed to completely consume a certain quantity of propane gas.

Our hydrocarbon and oxygen combustion question follows the basic reaction path,

C3H8 + 5 O2 → 4 H2O + 3 CO2

If we have the following conditions:

  • Temperature = 75 Celsius (348 Kelvin)
  • Pressure = 720 / 760 mm = 0.95 atm
  • Moles propane = 40.8 grams / 44.1 grams molecular weight = 0.93 moles
  • How Much Oxygen to Burn the Propane?

    What volume of oxygen is needed to accomplish the burning of the 0.93 moles of the hydrocarbon?

    5 times 0.93 moles of C3H8 burned = 4.65 moles of oxygen

    The ideal gas law reads:

    PV = nRT

    where P= the pressure, V= the volume, and n= the number of moles and T is temperature in degrees Kelvin.

    I calculate:

    0.95 atm (V liters) = 4.65 (0.082 liter-atmospheres per mole per degree Kelvin) (348 degrees Kelvin)

    V = 4.65 (348) / 0.95 = 1700

    The answer is: To burn the hydrocarbon, 1700 liters of oxygen gas is needed.

    Note: You might also enjoy Propane Heat: Eyes Burn?

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