home » Student sources » virtual Chemistry Textbooks » CH105: customer Chemistry » CH105: thing 7 – Alkanes and also Halogenated Hydrocarbons

MenuDegrees & programs BackBachelor the Science level in ChemistryStudent sources BackStudent activities BackPeople Back

Chapter 7: Alkanes and also Halogenated Hydrocarbons

This message is released under an innovative commons licensing, because that referencing and adaptation, please click here.

Opening Essay

7.1 acknowledgment of necessary Structures

7.2 arrival to Alkanes

Straight Chain AlkanesBranched Chain AlkanesCycloalkanesClassification that Carbon Bonds

7.3 properties of Alkanes

Melting Points and Boiling PointsSolubilityAlkane Properties and also Environmental Hazards: A Closer Look

7.4 chemical Reactivity that Alkanes

Combustion ReactionsHalogenation reactions (Substitution Type)Cracking Alkanes

7.5 chapter Summary

7.6 End-of-Chapter Exercises

7.7 References

Opening Essay

Hydrocarbons room the easiest organic compounds, but they have interesting physiological effects. These results depend ~ above the dimension of the hydrocarbon molecules and also where on or in the body they space applied. Alkanes of short molar mass—those with from 1 to around 10 or therefore carbon atoms—are gases or irradiate liquids the act together anesthetics. Inhaling (“sniffing”) these hydrocarbons in petrol or aerosol propellants for their intoxicating effect is a significant health problem that have the right to lead to liver, kidney, or mind damage or come immediate death by asphyxiation by not included oxygen. Pressurized canisters of propane and butane gas, both that which space intended for usage as fuels, are abused together inhalants.

You are watching: The controlled process by which hydrocarbons are broken down


Figure 7.1. A selection of petroleum-based assets that can be abused as inhalants. Photo By: Lance Cpl. Matthew K. Hacker

Swallowed, fluid alkanes do small harm if in the stomach. In the lungs, however, they cause “chemical” pneumonia by dissolving fatlike molecule from cell membranes in the tiny air sacs (alveoli). The lungs end up being unable come expel fluids, simply as in pneumonia brought about by bacteria or viruses. Human being who swallow gasoline or various other liquid alkane mixtures have to not be made to vomit, together this surfacetoairnewyork.comld rise the opportunity of acquiring alkanes into the lungs. (There is no home-treatment antidote for petrol poisoning; speak to a poison regulate center.)

Liquid alkanes with approximately 5–16 carbon atoms per molecule wash away organic skin oils and also cause drying and chapping of the skin, while heavier liquid alkanes (those with around 17 or more carbon atoms per molecule) act together emollients (skin softeners). Together alkane mixtures as mineral oil and petroleum jelly have the right to be used as a safety film. Water and aqueous services such as urine will certainly not dissolve such a film, which defines why petroleum jelly protects a baby’s tender skin native diaper rash.

In this chapter we will investigate the alkanes, compound containing only two elements, carbon and hydrogen, and also having only single bonds. Us will additionally investigate alkanes that have actually halogens included into their structure. Recall the halogens are the aspects in household 7A ~ above the routine table and contain representative elements such as chlorine, fluorine, iodine, and bromine. There space several other kinds of hydrocarbons, differentiated by the varieties of bonding between carbon atoms and also by the nature that an outcome from the bonding. In Chapter 8 we will examine hydrocarbons with dual bonds, v triple bonds, and with a special type of bonding referred to as aromaticity. Climate in Chapter 9, us will examine some compounds thought about to be acquired from hydrocarbons by replacing one or much more hydrogen atoms through an oxygen-containing group. Chapter 10 focuses on organic acids and also bases.

(Back come the Top)

7.1 acknowledgment of organic Structures

Learning ObjectiveTo have the ability to recognize the composition and also properties usual of organic and inorganic compounds.

Scientists the the 18th and early 19th centuries studied compounds derived from plants and also animals and labeled castle organic due to the fact that they were isolated from “organized” (living) systems. Compound isolated native nonliving systems, such as rocks and also ores, the atmosphere, and also the oceans, were labeled inorganic. For numerous years, scientists thought essential compounds can be do by just living organisms due to the fact that they own a an essential force discovered only in living systems. The critical force theory started to decrease in 1828, as soon as the German chemist Friedrich Wöhler synthesized urea native inorganic starting materials. The reacted silver- cyanate (AgOCN) and ammonium chloride (NH4Cl), expecting to obtain ammonium cyanate (NH4OCN). What he intended is defined by the complying with equation.

AgOCN + NH4Cl → AgCl + NH4OCN

Instead, he uncovered the product to be urea (NH2CONH2), a popular organic product readily isolated from urine. This an outcome led come a series of experiment in i beg your pardon a wide range of organic compounds were made indigenous inorganic beginning materials. The an important force theory gradually went away as chemists learned that they might make numerous organic compound in the laboratory.

Today organic chemistry has been reclassified together the examine of compounds the contain carbon, and inorganic chemistry is the examine of the chemistry the all other elements. It might seem strange the we divide chemistry right into two branches—one that considers compounds of just one element and also one that covers the 100-plus remaining elements. However, this department seems more reasonable when we consider that of tens of numerous compounds that have been characterized, the overwhelming bulk are carbon compounds.


The indigenous organic has various meanings. Essential fertilizer, such together cow manure, is necessary in the initial sense; that is obtained from living organisms. Organic foodstuffs generally are foods items grown without man-made pesticides or fertilizers. Organic chemistry is the chemistry of compound of carbon. Carbon is unique amongst the other elements in the its atom can type stable covalent bonds v each other and with atom of other elements in a multitude that variations. The result molecules deserve to contain from one to countless carbon atoms.

Organic compounds, like inorganic compounds, obey every the herbal laws. Regularly there is no clear distinction in the chemical or physics properties amongst organic and inorganic molecules. Nevertheless, it is advantageous to compare common members of every class, as in Table 7.1 (Keep in mind, however, the there space exceptions to every category in this table.) To further illustrate common differences amongst organic and inorganic compounds, Table 7.1 also lists nature of the not natural compound salt chloride (common table salt, NaCl) and the organic link hexane (C6H14), a solvent that is used to extract soybean oil indigenous soybeans (among other uses). Numerous compounds have the right to be classified as organic or inorganic by the visibility or lack of certain typical properties, as shown in Table 7.1.

Table 7.1 general Contrasting Properties and also Examples the Organic and Inorganic Compounds


Concept review Exercises: Click to finish the Questions

Key Takeaway
Organic chemistry is the examine of carbon compounds, nearly every one of which likewise contain hydrogen atoms.
More Practice

Classify every compound as organic or inorganic.


Classify every compound together organic or inorganic.

(Back come the Top)

7.2 arrival to Alkanes

Alkanes room organic compounds the consist entirely of single-bonded carbon and also hydrogen atoms and also lack any other practical groups. Alkanes have the basic formula CnH2n+2 and also can it is in subdivided into the following three groups: the direct straight-chain alkanes, branched alkanes, and cycloalkanes (Fig. 7.2). Alkanes are additionally saturated hydrocarbons, that is every one of the carbon atoms space ‘saturated’ v hydrogen atoms and also do no contain any type of carbon-carbon twin bonds or triple bonds. Alkanes room the simplest and also least reactive hydrocarbon species containing just carbons and hydrogens. They room commercially really important, gift the principal constituent that gasoline and also lubricating oils and are broadly employed in organic chemistry; despite the role of pure alkanes (such together hexanes) is delegated largely to solvents. The distinguishing feature of one alkane, make it distinctive from various other compounds that likewise exclusively save on computer carbon and also hydrogen, is its lack of unsaturation. The is to say, it consists of no twin or triple bonds, i beg your pardon are very reactive in necessary chemistry. Despite not totally devoid of reactivity, their absence of reactivity under many laboratory problems makes them a relatively uninteresting, though really important ingredient of necessary chemistry. Together you will learn around later, the energy confined in ~ the carbon-carbon bond and also the carbon-hydrogen shortcut is rather high and also their rapid oxidation to produce a big amount of heat, typically in the form of fire.


Figure 7.2. Examples of Alkanes

Straight Chain Alkanes

The straight chain alkanes, methane (CH4), ethane (C2H6), and also propane (C3H8) represent the start of a collection of link in which any two members in a sequence differ by one carbon atom and two hydrogen atoms—namely, a CH2 unit (Fig. 7.3) 


Figure 7.3 The Three easiest Alkanes

The first 10 members the this series are offered in Table 7.2. Keep in mind that together you rise the length of the carbon chain, the number of possible different structural isomers likewise increases.

Table 7.2 The an initial 10 Straight-Chain Alkanes


From propane (C3H8) onward, friend will notice that the only difference in between longer chain hydrocarbons requires the addition of CH2 units as you move up the series (Fig. 7.4). Any family of link in which adjacent members different from each various other by a definite factor (here a CH2 group) is referred to as a homologous series, and also can be defined mathematically. The members of together a series, referred to as homologs. In organic chemistry, homologs have properties that vary in a regular and predictable manner. Thus, the rule of homology offers organization come organic chemistry in much the same way that the routine table provides organization to not natural chemistry. Instead of a bewildering array of individual carbon compounds, we deserve to study a couple of members that a homologous series and indigenous them deduce few of the properties of other compounds in the series.



Figure 7.4 Members the a Homologous Series

In figure 7.4, note that each doing well formula incorporates one carbon atom and also two hydrogen atoms an ext than the previous formula. The rule of homology permits us to create a general formula because that alkanes: CnH2n+ 2. Using this formula, we can write a molecule formula for any alkane with a given variety of carbon atoms. Because that example, an alkane v eight carbon atoms has actually the molecule formula C8H(2 × 8) + 2 = C8H18.

See more: What Are You Primarily Doing When You Reconcile Your Checking Account?

Concept testimonial Exercises

In the homologous collection of alkanes, what is the molecule formula for the member just over C8H18?

Use the general formula because that alkanes to write the molecule formula the the alkane through 12 carbon atoms.