Hydrocarbons definition types and uses
Hydrocarbons definition types and uses are here in this article. First we started with definition of hydrocarbons Hydrocarbons are those compounds which are made up of only carbon and hydrogen elements.
Hydrocarbons are regarded as the parent organic compounds since other organic compounds are considered to be derived from them by replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms or group of atoms.
Types of hydrocarbons
The hydrocarbons are divided into two main classes on its structure base
1. Open chain or Aliphatic hydrocarbons
2. Closed chain or cyclic hydrocarbons
Open chain or Aliphatic hydrocarbons
These are the compounds in which the first and last carbon are not directly joined to each other. The open chain of carbon may be straight or branched.
For example :
Straight chain (n-butane)
Types of open chain hydrocarbons
1. Saturated hydrocarbons
2. Unsaturated hydrocarbons
The hydrocarbons in which all the four valencies of carbon atoms are fully saturated by single bonds with other carbon atoms and hydrogen atoms are called saturated hydrocarbons.
Saturated hydrocarbons are also called alkanes.
Methane (CH4), ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8) and butane (C4H10) are all saturated hydrocarbons because they contain only carbon-carbon single bonds.
The general formula of saturated hydrocarbons is CnH2n+2 where n is the number of carbon atoms in one molecule of the alkanes.
The hydrocarbons in which two carbon atoms are linked by a double or a triple bond are called unsaturated hydrocarbons.
Alkenes: the compounds in which two carbon atoms are linked by a double bond are called alkanes.
Ethene and propene
They have general formula CnH2n.
Alkynes: the hydrocarbons in which the two carbon atoms are linked by a triple bond are called alkanes.
Ethyne and propyne.
They have general formula CnH2n-2.
Closed chain or cyclic hydrocarbons
Compounds having rings of carbon atoms in their molecules are called closed chain or cyclic hydrocarbons.
Benzene (C6H6), cyclobutane and cyclohexane.
Use of hydrocarbons
1. Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons.
2. They are not only major source of energy but also are materials used to make thousands of consumer products.
3. Hydrocarbons are the starting materials for the synthesis of organic chemicals of commercial importance.
4. These chemicals are essential for making plastics, synthetic rubbers, synthetic fibres and fertilizers, etc.