Chemistry

Difference Between Complete Combustion and Incomplete Combustion

ADVERTISEMENT
CONTINUE READING BELOW

Main Difference

The main difference between Complete Combustion and Incomplete Combustion is that Complete Combustion carries out complete oxidation of the burning fuel and leads to only CO2 as product comprising of the carbon atom, whereas Incomplete Combustion carries out partial oxidation of the burning fuel and leads to CO and other carbon dust particles as products.

Complete Combustion vs. Incomplete Combustion

Complete Combustion is the burning of fuel with oxygen without any remaining unburned fuel within the required time, turbulence, and temperature that is high enough to ignite all combustible materials in that combusting fuel. Incomplete Combustion is the burning of fuel with oxygen that leaves remaining unburned fuel in a required time, turbulence, and temperature that also does not lead to ignition of all combustible materials.

ADVERTISEMENT
CONTINUE READING BELOW

Complete Combustion carries out complete oxidation of the burning fuel, whereas, Incomplete Combustion carries out partial oxidation of the burning fuel. As a result, Complete Combustion leads to only CO2 as a byproduct of all other products comprising of a carbon atom as well as water, however, in the case of Incomplete Combustion CO is produced ass byproduct along with other carbon dust particles and water. Complete Combustion leads to blue colored flame as a result of complete oxidation and complete combustion in the presence of surrounding available oxygen; however, Incomplete Combustion leads to yellowish flame due to partial oxidation of fuel in the absence of sufficient oxygen in the surroundings.

ADVERTISEMENT

Complete Combustion as carries out complete oxidation thus leads to a high amount of energy as a result, whereas, Incomplete Combustion as carries out partial oxidation leads to the production of a lower amount of energy. Complete Combustion can carry out in an environment where there is enough oxygen present for carrying out combustion and complete oxidation, but, Incomplete Combustion is a result of lack of oxygen, which leads to incomplete oxidation of the burning fuel and thus ultimately leading to incomplete combustion.

Complete Combustion does not produce smoke as the combustion leads to CO2 production only, whereas, Incomplete Combustion produces smoke as a result of lack of oxidants which leads to Incomplete Combustion and production of smoke. Complete Combustion leads to the production of CO2 as discussed above, which is one of the contributors to global warming; however, Incomplete Combustion leads to the production of CO, which is an air pollutant.

ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Complete CombustionIncomplete Combustion
Complete burning of fuel in the presence of oxygenIncomplete burning of fuel in the absence of sufficient oxygen.
Oxidation of Fuel
Complete OxidationIncomplete Oxidation
By-Products
CO2 and waterCO as well other Carbon Dust Particles
Produced Energy
High EnergyLower Energy
Flame Color
Blue flameYellow or orange flame
Conditions Required
Sufficient and adequate supply of oxidantsAn appropriate or proper supply of oxidants is not required.
Smoke
No smokeSmoky combustion
Environmental Impact
It contributes to Global Warming due to CO2 productionIt Produces CO which is an air Pollutant

What is Complete Combustion?

Complete Combustion is the burning of fuel cumulatively with oxygen without leaving any remaining unburned fuel components within the required time, turbulence, and temperature that is high enough as needed to ignite all combustible materials. As a result, Complete Combustion leads to only CO2 as a byproduct of all other carbon comprising products along with water molecules. Complete Combustion carries out complete oxidation of the burning fuel and leads to blue colored flame as a result of complete oxidation in the presence of surrounding sufficiently available oxidants.

Complete Combustion leads to a high amount of energy as a result of complete oxidation. It can carry out in an environment where there is enough oxygen present for carrying out the combustion of the whole fuel. It is one of those essential reactions that are keeping us alive and are not only restricted for their use in the production of energy.

When the breakdown of the cells, glucose molecules, the energy released as a result of Complete Combustion in aerobic cellular respiration. Glucose here is combusted in the presence of oxygen to form CO2, water, and energy in the form of ATPs. Complete Combustion does not produce smoke as the combustion leads to CO2 production along with water molecules. During this process, the production of CO2 is one of the contributors to global warming.

What is Incomplete Combustion?

Incomplete Combustion is the burning of fuel in the presence of insufficient oxidants that leaves unburned fuel in that required time, turbulence, and temperature. It also does not lead to the ignition of all combustible materials. In this case, CO produced as a byproduct along with other carbon dust particles and water. Which can see in an exemplary reaction as,

4CH4 + 5O2 à 2CO + 8H2O + 2C

Incomplete Combustion carries out partial oxidation of the burning fuel. It does not lead to the production of a lower amount of energy, but also produces toxic byproducts as CO and other carbon particles. The flame in this case produced is also yellowish or orange in color in the absence of sufficient oxygen in the surroundings.

Incomplete Combustion also produces smoke as a result of a lack of oxidants, which leads to incomplete oxidation, and the remains of carbon dust particles lead to smoke. Incomplete Combustion, as discussed above, leads to the production of CO and other toxic remains, which are known as air pollutants. The problem, thus, with this type of combustion is that it raises pollution levels and lead to hazardous effects by causing respiratory problems.

Key Differences

  1. Complete Combustion is the burning of fuel cumulatively in the presence of sufficient oxidants without any remaining unburned fuel within the required time, turbulence, and temperature; however, Incomplete Combustion is the burning of fuel that leaves remaining unburned fuel and does not lead to ignition of all combustible materials.
  2. Complete Combustion leads to only CO2 as a byproduct comprising of a carbon atom with water; on the other hand, Incomplete Combustion leads to CO as a byproduct along with other carbon dust particles and water.
  3. Complete Combustion carries out complete oxidation of the burning fuel; on the contrary, Incomplete Combustion carries out partial oxidation of the burning fuel.
  4. Complete Combustion leads to blue colored flame in the presence of surrounding available oxidants; on the flip side, Incomplete Combustion leads to yellowish flame in the absence of sufficient oxygen in the surroundings.
  5. Complete Combustion leads to a high amount of energy; on the contrary, Incomplete Combustion leads to the production of a lower amount of energy.
  6. Complete Combustion can only carry out in the presence of sufficient oxidants that required for carrying out complete oxidation; on the other hand, Incomplete Combustion is a result of lack of oxygen, which leads to incomplete oxidation of the burning fuel.
  7. Complete combustion does not produce smoke and leads to CO2 production only, on the flip side, Incomplete Combustion produces smoke as a result of lack of oxidants.
  8. Complete Combustion leads to the production of CO2, which is one of the contributors to global warming; on the other hand, Incomplete Combustion leads to the production of CO, which is an air pollutant.

Conclusion

Complete Combustion is a process that carried out under sufficient supply of oxidants leading to complete oxidation of the burning fuel and CO2 as a product. However, Incomplete Combustion carried out under insufficient supply of oxidants leading to partial oxidation of the burning fuel and CO and other carbon dust particles as products.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

Adblocker detected! Please consider reading this notice.

We've detected that you are using AdBlock Plus or some other adblocking software which is preventing the page from fully loading.

We don't have any banner, Flash, animation, obnoxious sound, or popup ad. We do not implement these annoying types of ads!

We need money to operate the site, and almost all of it comes from our online advertising.

Please add difference.wiki to your ad blocking whitelist or disable your adblocking software.

×