Saturated and Unsaturated Hydrocarbons

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Saturated and Unsaturated Hydrocarbons

Saturated and Unsaturated Hydrocarbons

Saturated and Unsaturated Hydrocarbons: Hydrocarbons are organic compounds derived from simple combinations of hydrogen and carbon such as petrol, diesel, and kerosene oil, etc.

All Hydrocarbons are divided into two classes-

  • Aliphatic Hydrocarbons
  • Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Aliphatic hydrocarbons are again divided into two classes:

  • Saturated Hydrocarbons
  • Unsaturated Hydrocarbons

Saturated Hydrocarbons

Saturated hydrocarbons are organic compounds in which there is a single valence-bond between the carbon atoms present. Such as ethane, propane, butane, etc. All compounds above methane are in the alkane family, all of them are called saturated hydrocarbons.

Saturated hydrocarbons do not contain any bonds, including double or triple covalent bonds. These compounds bind each carbon atom directly to four other atoms. Therefore, all carbon atoms are fully penetrated by forming four bonds. For this reason, these compounds are called saturated hydrocarbons. Examples of saturated hydrocarbons include the alkanes and cycloalkane families of hydrocarbons.

Methane is the simplest form of saturated hydrocarbons. Ethane (C) 2H6), propane (C) 3H8), etc. burn saturated hydrocarbons and give non-sootic flame to the air. LPG (cooking gas) is also a saturated hydrocarbon called butane.

Hydrocarbons are usually derived from fossil plant and animal matter. Once they are obtained as crude oil, a process called distillation is carried out to separate the individual products according to their mass. This process is called the refining of crude oil.

Unsaturated Hydrocarbons

Unsaturated hydrocarbons are hydrocarbons that contain at least one carbon-carbon double or triple bond in their carbon chain. These compounds have similar physical properties to saturated hydrocarbons. However, their chemical properties differ significantly from those of saturated hydrocarbons. It is of two types – alkynes and alkynes.


Alkynes: It is also called Olefin. These are compounds of unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbons that have two covalent bonds to the carbon atom called olefins or alkynes. The common formula for the members of this series is CnH2n. The organic compound ethylene (C2H4) is an example of alkynes.

Alkynes: Compounds of unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbons that have three covalent bonds to the carbon atom are called acetylene or alkynes. The common formula for the members of this series is CnH2n-2. The simplest example of this hydrocarbon is the organic compound acetylene (C2H2) or ethane.

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