Differentiate between Rusting and Burning

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The difference between rusting and burning is that burning only needs oxygen, whereas rusting requires both oxygen and moisture to form. Since combustion creates energy from heat and light, rusting cannot be compared to combustion. Rusting does not involve any energy production.

Difference between Rusting and Burning

The major Differentiate between Rusting and Burning has been elaborated in the table given below:

Rusting Burning
The process of formation of red oxide or iron oxide on the surface of iron and alloys, when exposed to air and moisture, is called rusting. The process where a substance reacts with oxygen by releasing heat and light
It requires both oxygen and moisture. Only oxygen is required, and moisture is not needed
Gradual process Rapid process
Occurs at low temperature Occurs at high temperature
Takes place in iron, and its alloys Take place in paper, rubber, fuel, and other substances
It results in a reddish coating on the surface due to the formation of red or iron oxide. It results in black soot and smoke particles.

Factors Affecting Rusting

Many factors increase rusting, like the environment’s pH and moisture content. Some of the factors are given here.

  • Moisture: The presence of water is a requirement for corrosion to occur. The primary cause of rusting is exposure to rain.
  • Acid: The rusting process is accelerated when the pH of the environment around the metal is lower. Being subjected to acid rain causes rusting to worsen. The pH scale shows that iron corrosion increases as pH rises.
  • Salt: Iron rusts quickly due to the abundance of salt in the sea. Due to the presence of numerous ions in saltwater, electrochemical reactions speed up the rusting process.
  • Impurity: Pure iron rusts more slowly than iron that contains a mix of metals.

The object size of iron can affect the process of rusting. For instance, an iron object has small deficiencies because of smelting.


Differentiate between rusting and burning

Difference between Rusting and Burning: Rusting is the formation of red oxide or iron oxide on the surface of iron and alloys when exposed to air and moisture. Burning is when a substance reacts with oxygen by releasing heat and light.

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