I'm a little confused about the chemistry of combustion. I know that when a hydrocarbon (like methane) burns, it combines with oxygen and forms carbon dioxide and water. I also know that in an absence of air, the hydrocarbon doesn't burn completely and leaves carbon monoxide, which is harmful for our health. Does this mean that there's always oxygen required for combustion to happen?
Combustion is a chemical reaction between a fuel and an oxidant. This can be achieved in two ways:
Does combustion always require oxygen? Will the same reaction happen if it is done in a vacuum?
In order to answer this question, you need to understand what happens during combustion and how oxygen is involved. In simple terms, when fuel burns (such as wood or gasoline), it reacts with oxygen in the air and produces carbon dioxide and water vapor. Oxygen is a reactant because it combines with other elements (in this case carbon) to produce something new: CO2+O2→CO2+H2O
So yes! Combustion does require oxygen for chemical reactions that occur upon burning of materials at high temperatures. However, combustion does not always require air since we can still release heat from burning substances even if there are no other gases surrounding them such as nitrogen or helium gas molecules within our atmospheric conditions on Earth (which consists mostly of 78% nitrogen).
I'm not sure about the chemistry involved in this process, but wouldn't the answer be no? Combustion happens because hydrocarbons bind to oxygen, but if there isn't any oxygen available then combustion shouldn't be possible.
For example, methane (CH4) is a simple organic compound which consists of one carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms (CH4). When methane burns it reacts with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water vapor. The chemical reaction is C + 2O2 -> CO2 + H2O. This reaction requires heat and a fuel source like wood or coal. Without either one of these two components present only partial combustion can occur at best
Yes, the heat generated by an explosion is transferred to the can via conduction. In an open environment, combustion also releases gas into the atmosphere that you breathe in. This is how explosions are able to spread fire and ignite other combustible materials around them. In your scenario though, there is no air for this to happen so your can won't get hot enough for anything else to happen (unless maybe if it were made out of some really good material).
There are two reasons why this would not work: 1) Combustion requires oxygen to occur which there wouldn't be in a sealed container and 2) You need something that will burn like paper or fuel sources like propane gas etc., which might also explode but would require something else besides just having enough pressure/heat build up inside your closed container before everything explodes and breaks itself apart due to excessive heat being built up within its walls
In order to understand what combustion is, you must first know that a chemical reaction occurs when a fuel reacts with oxygen. Combustion is the chemical reaction between an oxidant and an organic substance. In order to burn hydrocarbons (chemicals found in gasoline), oxygen is essential because it promotes their oxidation to produce water, carbon dioxide, and heat energy.
The only way to have a reaction without oxygen is if there is some sort of catalyst present. If this were the case then it would be possible for the can to catch on fire without air, but I don't think that's what you're looking for.