What happens when ethanol reacts with O2

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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Ethanol is an organic compound with molecular formula `C_2H_6O` . It consists of a carbon chain of two atoms that have an -OH group at one end. The chemical formula can be written as `CH_3CH_2OH` as this represent the molecule more accurately.

When ethanol reacts with oxygen it undergoes an exothermic reaction that leads to the formation of carbon dioxide, water and heat. The chemical equation of the reaction that takes place is:

`C_2H_6O + 3O_2 -> 2CO_2 + 3H_2O`

The heat released when one mole of ethanol combines with 3 moles of oxygen is 1360 kJ.