Chemical reactions usually occur with hydrocarbons as its main constituent. They are considered to be the derivatives of carbon and hydrogen. A hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting of carbon and hydrogen. They are naturally found in natural gas, crude oil and coal. Energy is generated from them due to which it is a main constituent in most of the chemical reactions. They are generally colorless gases with weak odors. Hydrocarbons can be classified in to Saturated and Unsaturated Hydrocarbons and further classified in to Alkanes, Alkenes, Alkynes and Aromatic Hydrocarbons. This blog will take readers from Introduction to Classification to Properties of hydrocarbons.
Classification of Hydrocarbons:
Hydrocarbons are classified in to saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons.
Unsaturated Hydrocarbons: The word 'unsaturated' literal meaning is that an addition can be made say; in a system. They are those hydrocarbons that consist of double or triple covalent bonds between adjacent carbon atoms. Due to double or triple covalent bond, hydrogens can be added and can make bonds in system enough to be saturated. Hydrocarbons with double bonds are called 'Alkenes' and with triple bonds are called 'Alkynes'. For example, in C2H4, there are double bonds between adjacent carbon atoms. When we shatter these bonds in order to fulfill valency of adjacent carbon atoms, 2 more hydrogen atoms will be required, hence 1 for each carbon atom. This is how it works.
Saturated Hydrocarbons: The word 'saturated' means that there is no more space to add elements say; in a system. They are those hydrocarbons that consist of single bond and have not enough space to add more hydrogens like in CH4, here carbon atom is surrounded by 4 hydrogen atoms. No more hydrogen atom can be added in CH4 due to the absence of multiple bonds.
Saturated Hydrocarbons only has Alkanes to its side.
Alkanes: are those hydrocarbons with single bond between its adjacent carbon atoms. Due to its saturation, no more functional groups can be attached and this does not instigate any reaction. They are highly stable hydrocarbon. Reactivity of a compound shows how much vigorously a compound wants to react in order to get stabilized but Alkanes are already a stable hydrocarbon so they barely reacts. Alkanes are generally non polar molecules due to small electronegative difference between C-H bond but Alkanes are soluble in organic solvents. Boiling point of Alkanes increases with the increase in molecular mass.
Unsaturated hydrocarbons are classified in to Alkenes, Alkynes and Aromatic Hydrocarbons.
Alkenes: are those hydrocarbons which have double bond between its adjacent carbon atoms(C=C) and due to its unsaturation, functional groups are attached which instigate reactions. In result, Alkenes are more reactive than alkanes. General molecular formula for Alkenes is; CnH2n. In addition, Alkenes are used to manufacture plastics and chemicals that can be used as Fuels. Alkenes are soluble in organic solvents such as C6H6(Benzene). Boiling point of Alkenes increases as molecular mass increases.
Alkynes: are those hydrocarbons which have triple covalent bonds between its adjacent carbon atoms due to its triple bonds, it invites more functional groups to get attached which causes reactions to occur. Alkynes are more reactive than Alkenes. General molecular formula for Alkynes are CnH2n-2. Alkynes are used as starting materials for most of the organic compounds which is highly used in industries. They are used as fuels as well. Alkynes can be rearranged in different symmetrical and unsymmetrical forms which generates more distinct derivatives. The process is called Isomerism.
Aromatic Hydrocarbons: are those unsaturated hydrocarbons with one or more six C=C conjugated bonds that contains six sigma bonds and six pi-bonds. It is also called benzene rings along with that hydrogens are also attached with it. Benzene ring which is with the most of the aromatic hydrocarbons is stabilized by the process of resonance. Whenever, they get burnt, they emit colored flames. Aromatic hydrocarbons are widely used but majorly in plastic and petrochemical industries.
Conclusion: Hydrocarbons are the derivatives of bonded carbon and hydrogen compounds which are further classified in to saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons. Unsaturated hydrocarbons are further classified in to Alkenes, Alkynes and Aromatic Hydrocarbons while Saturated hydrocarbons are called Alkanes.