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This reaction releases −242 kJ/mol of enthalpy (heat):
This was a dispute over the inclusion of N2 in the equation of complete combustion since it doesn't react. It was decided it should be kept since it affects the temperature and does react to make minor species. Full details are in the Combustion Archive.
This was a dispute that spawned from confusion over different terminology meaning the same thing, particular adiabatic combustion temperature with adiabatic flame temperature and heat of combustion with heating value. It was decided that a more conscious effort should be made to include multiple terminology but to also to point the terms are equivalent. Full details are in the Combustion Archive.
Away from the basics
Does anyone understand what characteristic of oxygen makes combustion happen? What is it about reactions with that specific element that makes fire? How does that attribute work which makes it different from any other reaction that is not combustion? I'd appreciate any input. Thank you.
Typo regarding Nitrogen
In the "Complete vs. incomplete" section:
"Nitrogen does not take part in combustion, but at high temperatures, some nitrogen will be converted to NOx, usually between 1% and 0.002% (2 ppm)."
One of those figures (0.002% and 2 ppm) has to be wrong, because...
0.002% would be 20 ppm.
0.0002% would be 2 ppm.
I would change it myself but I don't know which figure is the correct one, and having no luck searching online.
Uncatalyzed combustion in air requires fairly high temperatures, because quantum mechanics forbids the reaction between the rare triplet state of the familiar dioxygen and the common singlet state of fuels.
How can fuels be in a singlet state? I thought that was for electrons.