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Solution: The gasoline tank of an automobile contains 83 kg of gasoline. The gasoline combines with 332.0 kg of oxygen. What is the total combined mass of the carbon dioxide and water produced by combustion in the engine?

Problem

The gasoline tank of an automobile contains 83 kg of gasoline. The gasoline combines with 332.0 kg of oxygen. What is the total combined mass of the carbon dioxide and water produced by combustion in the engine?

Solution

We’re being asked to calculate the total combined mass of CO2 and H2O that will be formed in the reaction.


For this problem, we need to do the following steps:

Step 1: Write and balance a chemical equation for the given reaction.

Step 2: Determine the limiting reactant and calculate the mass of CO2 formed.

Step 3: Calculate the mass of H2O formed.

Step 4: Calculate the total mass of products.



Step 1: Assuming that gasoline is composed of octane (C8H18), the given combustion reaction is:

C8H18 + O2 → CO2 + H2O


This equation is not yet balanced. To balance it, we have to make sure that the number of elements on both sides is equal.


Balance C: We have 8 C on the reactant side and 1 C on the product side – add a coefficient of 8 to CO2:

C8H18O2 → 8 CO2H2O


Balance H: We have 18 H on the reactant side and 2 H on the product side – add a coefficient of 9 to H2O:

C8H18O2 → 8 CO29 H2O


Balance O: We have 2 O on the reactant side and 8(2) + 9 = 25 O on the product side – multiply the entire equation by 2 and add a coefficient of 25 to O2:

C8H1825 O2 → 16 CO218 H2O


Now that we have a balanced equation, we can determine how much CO2 is produced.


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