Incomplete combustion of alkane

Which of the following are produced by the incomplete combustion of an alkane?

  1. CnH2n+2
  2. COCO
  3. CO2
  4. H2O
  5. He
  6. CnH2n

A. 1, 2 and 4

B. 1, 3 and 4

C. 3 and 4

D. 3, 4 and 6

E. 3, 4 and 5

The answer says B. I first thought incomplete combustion contributes to formation of carbon monoxide. Please lighten me!

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Yes you are correct, CO is produced. However carbon monoxide isn’t an option in the list and incomplete combustion can still produce some CO2, not as much as the complete combustion however. To answer questions like this I would use the elimination method as we know no other product can be produced by any type of combustion of alkane other than 1,3 and 4. Hope this helps!!


why is the 1st one included in this way? is it because it is incomplete so we will still have some of the compound?

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Exactly yes! Since not all of the compound could be burnt in oxygen, some molecules could be left