If one mole of ethanol completely burns to carbon dioxide and water, the mass of carbon dioxide formed will be ___.

Expert Answers
gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When ethanol (C2H5OH) burns, it reacts with oxygen (O2) and forms carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). The well-balanced chemical equation for the combustion reaction can be written as:

`C_2H_5OH + 3O_2 -> 2CO_2 + 3H_2O`

As can be seen from the equation, 1 mole of ethanol reacts with 3 moles of oxygen to form 2 moles of carbon dioxide and 3 moles of water.

Since 1 mole of ethanol is given in the question, it will form 2 moles of carbon dioxide.

The molar mass of carbon dioxide = (number of carbon atoms x atomic weight of carbon) + (number of oxygen atoms x atomic weight of oxygen)

= 1 x 12 + 2 x 16 = 44 g/mole.

Thus, 2 moles of CO2 will be formed, which means 2 moles x 44 g/mole = 88 g of CO2 will be formed.

Hope this helps.