When we learned about combustion, we learned about the combustion of hydrocarbons and compounds with only hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon. However, how would combustion work with compounds that contained nitrogen or other compounds? For instance, what would the combustion of an amino acid look like in a formula?

  • $\begingroup$ Usually, you get nitrogen or nitrogen oxides. $\endgroup$
    – Zhe
    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:21

1 Answer 1


Simultaneous elemental analysis of organic carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen is classically accomplished by combusting the material under a stream of $\ce{O2}$, usually in the presence of a catalyst to ensure complete combustion, at a temperature of 950-1050$^o$C. Carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen are quantitatively converted to $\ce{CO2}$, $\ce{H2O}$ and $\ce{N2}$, respectively. This is a common method in particular for determining nitrogen concentration in amino acids.


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