# What Is the Balanced Equation for the Combustion of Butane?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 24, 2020 5:20:53 PM ET
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The balanced equation for the combustion of butane combines two molecules of butane with 13 oxygen molecules. The combination produces eight molecules of carbon dioxide and 10 water molecules.

To create a proper balance, one may only adjust the numbers of one product or one reactant at a time. In its unbalanced form, the equation for the combustion of butane translates to: C4H10 + 02 equals C02 + H20. On the left side of the equation are 10 hydrogen atoms, two oxygen atoms and four carbon atoms. The right side of the atom, in contrast, has two oxygen atoms, one carbon atom and one hydrogen atom.

Balancing the Equation

Balancing the equation takes some work. Creating the balance begins by multiplying the C02 in the products by four. This step creates an equilibrium by matching with the four butane carbons on the equation's reactant side. The next step in balancing the equation requires multiplying the oxygen components дуЅн_нс or the H20 components дуЅн_нс by a factor of five. This produces 10 hydrogen atoms, which are distributed between the reactant and the product sides of the equation.

By this stage, the hydrogen equation consists of 13 oxygen atoms distributed among the products, eight carbon dioxide molecules and five products in water. Oxygen gas in the reactants is classified as a diatomic molecule, which means that every six and a half units of oxygen balance out with the 13 oxygen atoms that exist in the remaining products. For the purposes of clarity and uniformity, one balances the equation by doubling the number of reactants and products. This produces an equation of 2 C4H10 + 13 02, which yields 8 C02 + 10 H20.

What Is Butane?

Butane is a gas that has no color and a smell that resembles petroleum. For personal and commercial purposes, butane is commonly sold as a fuel for cooking and camping equipment. Butane is also a product that has many commercial uses. It can be stenched for transportation, and it is shipped as a liquefied gas under vapor pressure. Butane ignites easily, and it can also cause frostbite when touched. Butane is heavier than air, and butane leaks can exist in vapor or liquid form. At normal temperatures and atmospheric pressures, butane's isomers are flammable and colorless gases. These isomers are extracted from natural gases or by refining petroleum.

Butane is useful for many purposes, including cooking and camping. It is also a main component of gasoline, and it is used as a fuel for cigarette lighters. Butane is also combined with propane and other hydrocarbons to create liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). LPG is used as a primary heating source for appliances, and it is a fuel commonly used to operate vehicles. Concerns over environmental health and safety have led to the increasing use of LPG and other substances, like isobutane, as a replacement for chemicals that have been identified as sources of ozone layer depletion. Ozone-depleting chemicals include Freon gases like halomethanes and chlorofluorocarbons. LPG is now a common additive in domestic refrigerators and freezers. It is also added to aerosol sprays, where it acts as a propellant.

While butane is permitted for noncommercial use, it can impact human health. Inhaling butane can lead to drowsiness, cardiac arrhythmia, frostbite, asphyxia and narcosis.

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