Why do we prefer air instead of oxygen during combustion? Combustion of a fuel takes place in presence of oxygen to form CO2 and H2O. Now, if we increase the amount of oxygen in air, combustion will take place at a faster rate. In such cases there is a possibility that the material being burnt may catch fire due to rapid increase in temperature. Therefore it is important to maintain the amount of air required for complete combustion. For example, in case of a torch or matchstick, the amount of air present is very less and it burns very fast without taking enough time for complete combustion because here only one gas (oxygen) is present along with other gases like nitrogen etc which are inert i.e not involved in any type of chemical reaction therefore its effect on temperature remains negligible as compared to that produced by other gases present inside our body
Combustion is a chemical reaction in which a fuel reacts with oxygen, producing heat and light. Combustion can occur in two ways: complete combustion and incomplete combustion.
Complete combustion occurs when all the fuel is burned (oxidized) to carbon dioxide and water vapor. For example, when you burn wood or oil, it burns completely because there are no impurities left behind after the reaction occurs.
Incomplete combustion occurs when not all of the fuel is oxidized during the process—some of it remains as soot and smoke particles that are released into the air along with other products such as CO2 and H2O (water).
Even though burning produces heat, light and smoke there is a possibility that the material being burnt may catch fire due to the rapid increase in temperature. This is because when combustion occurs at a faster rate, it produces more heat than what is necessary to keep the materials from catching fire.
In the case of a furnace or boiler, it is important to maintain the amount of air required for complete combustion. The required amount of air is called the combustion air. The combustion air is the amount of air required to burn the fuel completely. This quantity depends on many factors such as type of fuel being burnt and size/shape of furnace or boiler.
For example, in case of a torch or matchstick, the amount of air present is very less and it burns very fast without taking enough time for combustion. This leads to incomplete combustion where you can see carbon deposits inside the cylinder or at the bottom of your torch as well as when you light up your cigarette.
Similarly, if you put cotton wool soaked in kerosene on fire using a matchstick or using a matchbox then it will burn slowly and there will be no explosion at all because there's plenty of oxygen available.
The main reason why we prefer air instead of oxygen is that we need some other gases also present in air along with oxygen to maintain the right temperature and speed up the process. These gases are nitrogen, carbon dioxide, argon, and others like water vapor (in small amounts).
Combustion is a chemical reaction between a fuel and an oxidant accompanied by the production of heat. It takes place in presence of oxygen or some other oxidants like hydrogen peroxide etc.
This is the reason why we prefer air instead of oxygen during combustion.