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Describe Combustion Reactions

In this worksheet, students will learn that combustion is an example of an oxidation reaction.

'Describe Combustion Reactions' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Year:  Year 8 Science worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Chemistry: Chemical Reactions

Curriculum subtopic:   Types of Chemical Reactions

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

Combustion is the reaction between a fuel and oxygen which also creates lots of energy.


Another name for combustion is burning.


burning match


The general word equation for combustion is.....


Hydrocarbon + oxygen →  Carbon dioxide + water + energy


A hydrocarbon is a type of fuel. For example, coal, wood and oil are all hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are made of just two elements - hydrogen and carbon. The oxygen required for a combustion reaction comes from the air around us.


Combustion is an example of an oxidation reaction. This is because any reaction in which a substance gains oxygen, is an oxidation reaction. 


All combustion reactions are irreversible. This means we can't reverse the reaction - we won't get the original reactants (what we react) from the products (what we make). That makes sense - you can't get back a piece of paper that has been burnt, can you?


The energy produced by combustion can be put to many uses - from heating your home and cooking your food, to powering your car. The fuels used to provide energy for these uses are likely to be hydrocarbons, such as petrol, diesel, and natural gas.


gas hob


Let's have a further look at combustion in the questions that follow.

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