The balanced chemical equation for C3H8 +O2 = CO2 + H2O is C3H8 +5O2 = 3CO2 +4H2O. This is the chemical reaction in which C3H8 or propane burns in air or oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water. This chemical reaction is a complete combustion of a hydrocarbon in the presence of excess oxygen.
When a hydrocarbon, such as propane, burns in oxygen the products of this reaction is always water and carbon dioxide if complete combustion occurs, which requires a good supply of oxygen or air. The combustion of hydrocarbons is an example of an exothermic reaction in which heat is released.
If there is an insufficient amount of oxygen or air, then incomplete combustion occurs. Incomplete combustion will occur if C3H8 burns in the presence of 4O2 instead of 5O2. The products of this reaction are water, carbon monoxide and carbon. Carbon is released into the air as soot and carbon monoxide, which is a toxic and dangerous gas.
Propane is a type of hydrocarbon called an alkane. It is a colorless gas that is liquefied when compressed. Propane is also called liquefied petroleum gas and is classified as a clean fuel. Propane also has commercial and residential uses, including for heating water, cooking and heaters. It can also be used as an alternative fuel for vehicles.