Balanced Equation for Combustion of Ethane

What is the balanced form of the equation C₂​H₆​+O₂​→CO₂​+H₂​O?

a. C₂​H6₆+5O₂​→3CO₂​+5H₂​O
b. 2C₂​H₆​+7O₂​→4CO₂+6H₂​O
c. C₂H₆​+3O₂​→2CO₂​+3H₂​O

Answer:

The balanced equation for the combustion of ethane (C₂H₆) with oxygen (O₂) to produce carbon dioxide (CO₂) and water (H₂O) is 2C₂H₆ + 7O₂ → 4CO₂ + 6H₂O. This confirms that option b is the correct answer for the balanced reaction.

Explanation:

To find the balanced form of the equation C₂H₆ + O₂ → CO₂ + H₂O, let's use the step-by-step approach:
Write the unbalanced equation: C₂H₆ + O₂ → H₂O + CO₂
Balance the number of carbon (C) and hydrogen (H) atoms first. Since we have two carbons in C₂H₆, we need two molecules of CO₂. We also have six hydrogen atoms in C₂H₆, requiring three molecules of H₂O:
C₂H₆ + O₂ → 3H₂O + 2CO₂ (unbalanced)
After balancing C and H, we now have a total of seven oxygen (O) atoms on the product side (four from CO₂ and three from H₂O). We need an even number of oxygen atoms to match O₂ molecules on the reactant side, so we multiply the entire equation by 2:
2C₂H₆ + 7O₂ → 6H₂O + 4CO₂ (balanced)
This results in the balanced equation being: 2C₂H₆ + 7O₂ → 4CO₂ + 6H₂O. This equation indicates two molecules (or moles) of ethane react with seven molecules (or moles) of oxygen to produce four molecules (or moles) of carbon dioxide and six molecules (or moles) of water.

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