Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Ethanol is a chemical compound made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The chemical formula of ethanol is `CH_3CH_2OH` .

When ethanol is burnt, it reacts with oxygen and produces water and carbon dioxide. The chemical equation of the combustion of ethanol is:

`CH_3CH_2OH + 3O_2 -> 2CO_2 + 3H_2O`

The combustion of ethanol is an exothermic reaction. In addition to the formation of new compounds, the chemical reaction that takes place when ethanol is burnt also releases a lot of heat, 277.7 kJ per mole of ethanol.

In summary, when ethanol burns, it reacts with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, water and heat.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial