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QUESTION

# What are the reactants in this combustion reaction: ____ —&gt; CO2 + 2H2O?

The reactants of this particular combustion reaction are CH_4 and 2O_2.

Combustion reactions follow the general formula of "hydrocarbon"+"oxygen"=>"carbon dioxide"+"water".

Using the information we have, which is the amount of "carbon dioxide", or CO_2 and the amount of "water", or H_2O we have to find the "hydrocarbon" and the amount of "oxygen" or O_2.

must be balanced. The amount of Cs, Os and Hs in this chemical equation must be equal on both the left and right sides. Our right side is complete, so we can simply count how many are on the right side so we can match it on the left.

On the right side we have. 1 carbon (C), 4 oxygens (O) and 4 hydrogens (H). Remember that the 2 prefix in front of H_2O means that both the hydrogen and oxygen in H_2O doubles.

Therefore, using the Cs and Hs we can balance the left side with the right side by making a hydrocarbon. We have 1 carbon and 4 hydrogens, therefore our hydrocarbon is CH_4. We typically call this methane.

Using the Os on the right side we can figure out the O_2s on the left side. We have 4Os on the right therefore we have 2O_2s on the left.

How did we know how to balance it like this? We counted up how many of each element was on the right side, and following the general formula of "hydrocarbon"+"oxygen"=>"carbon dioxide"+"water" we used those amounts to balance with the above formula on the left side.

All in all, the reactants are CH_4 and 2O_2 creating a full chemical equation of CH_4+2O_2=>CO_2+2H_2O.

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