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Chemical Reaction that Takes Place when A Candle Is Burning
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For this week’s topic of discussion, I chose to describe the chemical reaction that takes place when a candle is burning. The concept of burning a candle seems pretty simple but there is actually a lot that is taking place while your favorite aroma is filling the air. Combustion, a type of chemical reaction, occurs when a candle is lit which is when hydrocarbons react with oxygen. This reaction breaks down hydrocarbons and oxygen into carbon dioxide and water. When the molecules heat up they begin to move quickly and produce energy, we see and feel this as light and heat. For a paraffin wax candle, the balanced chemical equation is: C25H52 + 38O2 → 25CO2 + 26H2O
Bibel, B. (2021, January 3). Candles, combustion, and waxes. The Bumbling Biochemist. https://thebumblingbiochemist.com/365-days-of-science/candles-combustion-and-waxes/.
When discussing chemical reactions, one that we utilize every day is photosynthesis. This reaction is used by all oxygen living organisms on this planet. Photosynthesis is the process in which light energy is converted to chemical energy in the form of sugars. This process is driven by light energy, glucose molecules are then constructed from water and carbon dioxide, which allows oxygen to be released as a byproduct. Some of the reasons that photosynthesis is important to us is because it produces oxygen, contributes to the carbon cycle between Earth and the oceans, as well as the primary energy process for most trees and plants. Without it, living organisms such as ourselves and plants wouldn’t be able to survive on this planet.