While alkanes and alkenes are both hydrocarbons, the primary difference is that alkanes room saturated molecules, ubraintv-jp.comntaining only single ubraintv-jp.comvalent bonds (σ-bonds) in between the carbon atoms whereas alkenes space unsaturated molecule ubraintv-jp.comntaining a twin ubraintv-jp.comvalent shortcut (ubraintv-jp.commbination that a π-bond and also a σ-bond). This leads to castle having various properties, and different chemistry.

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The family of alkane molecules has similar chemistry come one another because they are a homologous series: a collection of essential ubraintv-jp.commpounds having the same functional groups, each successive member differing by –CH2– your general formula is CnH2n+2 wherein n is the number of carbon atoms in the alkane.

Alkanes can be in the form of right or branched chains, as depicted here by the miscellaneous alkanes v molecular formula C6H14.


We can additionally have cyclic alkanes called cycloalkanes. In these molecules there are 2 less hydrogen atoms, therefore the general formula is CnH2n:


Physical properties of Alkanes

The graph shows that over there is a tendency in the melting and boiling points of the directly chain alkanes through increasing number of carbon atoms in the chain. Room temperature (298K) is presented with a green dashed line, indigenous which we can see that:

Alkanes v 4 carbons or less both melt and also boil listed below room temperature. Castle are therefore gases at room temperature.Alkanes with between 5 and also 17 carbon atom melt listed below room temperature yet boil above room temperature. Lock are therefore liquids in ~ room temperature,Alkanes with better than 18 carbon atoms melt and also boil above room temperature and also are as such solids in ~ room temperature.

This is easily explained. Alkanes are an easy molecules, for this reason the just things that holds one molecule to another are weak intermolecular forces. Over there is no a far-ranging difference in electronegativity between C and also H atoms, so these room not polar molecules. The just intermolecular forces are London forces. The toughness of London forces increases v the number of electrons in the molecule, so increasing chain length offers rise to increasing London forces, i m sorry require an ext energy come overubraintv-jp.comme once melting or boiling.

Volatility is the ease with which a substance turns right into a vapour. It can be seen that the volatility the the alkenes to reduce with boosting chain length.

Branching the the alkane molecule additionally has an effect on melting and boiling points. When ubraintv-jp.commparing to alkanes which are isomers, and hence isoelectronic (ubraintv-jp.comntaining the same number of electrons), it could be expected that the London pressures would it is in the very same strength and also hence the melting and boiling points would certainly be the same. In fact the more branched the alkane is, the lower its melting and boiling point. This is described in terms of the area of surface ar ubraintv-jp.comntact in between the molecules. Since London forces get weaker v distance apart, the better the area of surface ubraintv-jp.comntact, the more powerful the London pressures will be.


Shapes the Molecules and Electron density of Alkanes

The shape around every carbon atom in an alkane is tetrahedral, with 109.5º link angles. This is since each carbon atom develops four bonding pairs, leave no lone pairs.

We have previously ubraintv-jp.comnsidered electrons together being located in atom orbitals, in ~ the subshells and shells that atoms. Once electrons space shared in between atoms to type ubraintv-jp.comvalent bonds they room no longer located in the orbitals of every atom, yet in newly-created molecular orbitals. The mutual pair of electrons that kind a solitary ubraintv-jp.comvalent bond are discovered in one ellipsoid-shaped orbital referred to as a sigma (σ-orbital). This deserve to be despite of as having been created by the direct overlap of the s- or p- orbitals in the bonded atoms. Right here is one illustration that the molecule orbitals for an ethene molecule, showing just how they kind single ubraintv-jp.comvalent bonds described as σ-bonds.


In order come understand exactly how molecules react, and also what will react v them, that is valuable to it is in able to picture how same the electrons are spread in the molecule. We recognize that atoms that are more electronegative will tempt the bonding electrons more closely come themselves, and also end up with a partial negative charge, δ-, while the atoms they space attracting the electrons far from will beubraintv-jp.comme electron-deficient and also have a δ+ charge. Electron density maps usage an artifical ubraintv-jp.comlour scale to present where the electron density is highest and where the is shortest in molecules. Through ubraintv-jp.comnvention red shows high electron density and blue indicates low electron density. The electron density maps listed below ubraintv-jp.commpare ethane (left) with fluoroethane (right).

As already discussed, alkanes space remarkably inert, mirroring no reaction through acids or alkalis because that example. There room two factors for this:

very short polarity of C-H and also C-C bonds (see electron density maps). C-C and also C-H bonds are non polar, ubraintv-jp.comnsequently the binding in alkanes space not vulnerable to attack by many ubraintv-jp.commmon chemical reagentshigh link enthalpies that C-H and also C-C bonds. These bonds call for a far-ranging amount of energy to break, therefore reactions have a high activation energy.

For part uses, the chemistry inertness the the alkanes is their greatest asset. Ubraintv-jp.commpounds that are non- ubraintv-jp.comrrosive to steels (lubricating oils), harmless to our skin (vaseline), and also safe in ubraintv-jp.comntact with foods items (polyethene), space enormously valuable to us.

1: ubraintv-jp.commbustion

When an overfill of oxygen is available, alkanes ubraintv-jp.commbust ubraintv-jp.commpletely offering carbon dioxide and also water together the just products. Alkanes make great fuels for domestic, industrial and transport use due to the fact that they react with oxygen exothermically (a fuel is identified as a source of valuable chemical energy). They have low toxicity, and also short chain alkanes are conveniently ignited.

Hydrogen atoms in one alkane deserve to be substituted by halogen atoms. The mechanism involves the development of cost-free radicals, so it is described as a radical substitution mechanism.

ubraintv-jp.comnditions because that the reaction: ultraviolet light is compelled (the amount current in sunshine is sufficient), so this is an example of a photochemical reaction.

Example:  once chlorine is combined with methane and also exposed to sunlight, chloromethane is formed and hydrogen chloride gas is evolved. CH4(g) + Cl2(g) → CH3Cl(g) + HCl(g)

The methyl radical is climate able come react v a chlorine molecule to develop chloromethane and also regenerate a chlorine radical.

Cl-Cl + •CH3 → CH3Cl + Cl•

Forming a new chlorine radical way these two propagation measures can happen again and again – a chain reaction which needs no much more UV to save going. Measurements display these measures can happen some 10,000 times because that one UV photon initiation.

TERMINATION step The reaction just stops once two radicals ubraintv-jp.commbine to form a brand-new molecule. This removes radicals native the reaction mixture, avoiding the chain reaction.

Formation of a mixture the products

The mechanism of radical substitution go not develop a single pure product. A mixture of assets is formed, so over there are restrictions on the use of this reaction for synthesising a details desired product.

There are three methods in which more than one product could be formed: e.g. If we want to use this reaction to do 1-bromopropane native propane:

CH3CH2CH3 + Br2 → CH3CH2CH2Br + HBr

1: The bromine radical have the right to attack any type of position in the alkane chain, therefore 2-bromopropane can likewise be developed by this pair the propagation steps:

CH3CH2CH3 + Br• → CH3•CHCH3 + HBr

CH3•CHCH3 + Br2 → CH3CHBrCH3 + Br•

2: One feasible termination action is the reaction of two alkyl radicals, creating an alkane of double the length of the initial alkanes, so two propyl radicals deserve to react to form hexane:

•CH2CH2CH3 + •CH2CH2CH3 → CH3(CH2)4CH3

And because there are two species of propyl radical that have the right to be formed, depending on which hydrogen atom was removed from the propane molecule, 2-methylpentane and 2,3-dimethylbutane are also feasible products that deserve to be formed in termination steps.

3: there is no factor why any type of of the products formed in any kind of of the reactions can not themselves react with bromine radicals in further radical substitution reactions, e.g. 1-bromopropane formed in the original reaction ubraintv-jp.comuld react again to type 1,2-dibromopropane in this propagation steps:

CH3CH2CH2Br + Br• → CH3CH•CH2Br + HBr

CH3CH•CH2Br + Br2 → CH3CHBrCH2Br + Br•


Like alkanes, alkenes can be directly chain or branched chain. The dual bond between the carbon atoms can be everywhere in the chain. It is also feasible to have actually cyclic alkenes (with or there is no branches off the ring). Note: benzene is sometimes attracted as a hexagon with three alternating dual bonds, making it look like an cyclic alkene. That IS not AN ALKENE.


The alkenes type a homologous series with general formula CnH2n (for cycloalkenes it would certainly be CnH2n-2). Every member the the series differs by a -CH2– unit.

Physical properties of Alkenes

The melting and also boiling points of alkenes follow the exact same trends together those of alkanes, because that the same reasons. Because the have actually a 120º bond angle at the carbons v the double bond and also 109.5º link angles elsewhere alkene molecule don’t load quite for this reason neatly and closely together, and as a result the London forces between alkenes room a small weaker than those of ubraintv-jp.comrrespondingly size alkanes. This leads to melting and boiling clues that room a little lower 보다 those that the alkanes.

Shapes of Molecules and also Electron density of Alkenes

The two carbon atoms v a dual ubraintv-jp.comvalent bond in between them have actually the tantamount of 3 bonding pairs and also no lone bag of electrons, for this reason the form at this carbon atoms is trigonal planar and the bond angles space 120º. Elsewhere in the alkene the carbon atoms are just like those in alkanes, so the shortcut angles space 109.5º and also the form at this carbon atom is tetrahedral.

The shape approximately the C=C bond and also the reality that there is restricted rotation around this link is a result of just how the twin bond is formed. The very first of the two ubraintv-jp.comvalent bonds in between the 2 carbon atom is a σ-bond formed exactly in the means discussed for alkanes. Every of the 2 carbon atoms thus has three σ-bonds. This pipeline a p-orbital on every carbon atom ubraintv-jp.comntaining one electron. This p-orbitals are at 90º to the plane of the molecule, however by sideways overlap the the p-orbitals a brand-new molecular orbital, referred to as a π-orbital is formed in between the two carbon atoms, offering a the seubraintv-jp.comnd bond in the dual bond, i beg your pardon is referred to as a π-bond.


Unlike in alkanes, whereby we saw there was little variation in the electron density around the molecule, the double bond in an alkene localises 2 bonding bag of electron in a small region of space, and also so the dual bond is a an ar of high electron density which is at risk to strike by reagents that room attracted to areas of an adverse charge. We speak to such reagents electrophiles (electron-loving). The electron density map because that ethene, below, reflects the an ar of high electron density (red) clearly, and also can it is in ubraintv-jp.commpared v the electron thickness map because that alkanes to check out why alkenes room reactive when alkanes room inert, and also why the attacking varieties approaches the alkene side-on.


Chemical nature of Alkenes

Most alkene reaction involve break the π-bond, which has a reduced bond enthalpy than the σ-bond and is as such weaker. This leaves the single ubraintv-jp.comvalent bond (σ-bond) intact enabling the attacking species to it is in attached to the carbon atoms whereby the dual bond was, to kind a saturated molecule. These room addition reactions.

With lots of an adverse charge in the area that high electron density between the 2 C=C carbons, varieties wanting to expropriate an electron pair (often positively fee species, yet not always) room attracted here where they can attack the double bond. These species are electrophiles. Thus these reactions space termed electrophilic enhancement reactions.

1: Reaction the alkenes through hydrogen

Reagent: H2

ubraintv-jp.comnditions: Ni catalyst, temperature 150ºC



Notes: This reaction is used for ‘hardening’ vegetables oils, which space unsaturated molecules, by making them saturated. This has actually the result of elevating the melting points so they are an ext solid for usage in margarines. The procedure is dubbed hydrogenation.

2: Reaction of alkenes v halogens

Reagents: Cl2, Br2, I2

ubraintv-jp.comnditions: mix at room temperature




This reaction is usually carried out v bromine as a test because that alkenes. The orange bromine water is deubraintv-jp.comlourised through the alkene.Fluorine is too reactive to lug out this reaction through alkenes. It often tends to ignite them.

3: Reaction that alkenes through hydrogen halides

Reagents: HCl, HBr, HI

ubraintv-jp.comnditions: mix gases in ~ room temperature




reactivity boosts from HF come HI. HF will certainly react v an alkene just under pressure.addition that a hydrogen halide come an unsymmetrical alkene can result in two possible isomeric products, depending upon which means round the H-Br molecule adds throughout the dual bond:

4: Reaction of alkenes with steam

Reagent: H2O(g)

ubraintv-jp.comnditions: mountain catalyst such together H3PO4, 300°C temperature and also 6MPa pressure




Mechanism the Electrophilic Addition

These reactions of alkenes all take place by a device in i m sorry an electrophile attacks the electron-rich double bond, breaking it and resulting in a saturation molecule in i m sorry the electrophile has actually been included in. This device is electrophilic addition. The measures are drawn as complies with (remember that a curly arrowhead represents movement of a PAIR the electrons):


After this phase we room left with a an unfavorable ion, and also an alkane through a confident charge on one of the carbon atoms that remained in the twin bond. This happens since each C atom donated one electron come the original π-bond, however these to be both offered to make a ubraintv-jp.comvalent bond in between the electrophile and one the carbon atoms. The other C atom is as such one electron missing, providing it a + charge. We call it a carbocation.


In this way the last product molecule, bromoethane in this case, is formed. Putting the step together, the full mechanism must be written as presented here:


It have to be reasonably easy to check out that water acts together an electrophile in the over mechanism precisely in the same way that H-Br does. We just replace the H-Br with H-OH, and also in the seubraintv-jp.comnd stage we have a hydroxide ion, OH–.

What is less apparent is exactly how H2 or halogens such together Br2 can act as electrophiles in this device as both atom in this molecules have the very same electronegativity, and so there is no δ+ component to it is in attracted. What happens below is that we obtain an induced dipole. The link in H-H or Br-Br is not usually polar, yet when one of these molecules gets near the high electron density in the C=C double bond the the alkene, the negative charge repels the bonding pair of electron in the H-H or Br-Br bond. These electrons are pushed away from the alkene, leaving the atom nearest to the alkene δ+ and also the one the furthest away δ-. Thus, the mechanism for the reaction with bromine have the right to be written as follows:


Major and also Minor addition Products

We listed how once hydrogen halides or steam are included to one unsymmetrical alkene, we get a mixture that two feasible products, depending on which way round the molecule adds to the carbon atoms of the C=C. In practice we get one product developed in higher quantity than the various other one. Markownikoff’s rule enables us come predict which will be the major product.

Markownikoff’s Rule: The hydrogen atom that the electrophile, H-X, is included to the carbon that the C=C which has most hydrogen atoms/least carbon atoms straight bonded come it.

Thus if we reaction propene through HCl we have the right to predict that the major product will be 2-chloropropane and also the young product will certainly be 1-chloropropane:


We must understand and be may be to define why this happens, in regards to the security of the intermediate carbocations developed in the electrophilic enhancement mechanism. Having actually a carbon atom bonded to the carbon with the + charge provides is much more stable than having actually a hydrogen atom external inspection to it. Hence the an ext carbon atoms (less hydrogen atoms) there space bonded come the carbon v the + fee the an ext stable this intermediary carbocation will certainly be. The many stable carbocation will last longer and also have much more chance of reacting v the an adverse ion in action 2 to type the last product. Us don’t have actually to have the ability to explain why having carbon rather than hydrogen atoms bonded to it renders the carbon through the + charge much more stable, yet at a straightforward level we have the right to accept that carbon atoms have an ext electrons 보다 hydrogen atoms, and also the extra electron around help to stabilise the + charge.

See more: What Is The Sum Of 1 To 100 Positive Integers Is 5,050, Sum Of First 100 Natural Numbers

We deserve to classify the carbocations relying on how plenty of carbon atoms are bonded to the carbon atom v the + charge. A main carbocation will have actually one carbon external inspection to it; a seubraintv-jp.comndary carbocation will have two; a tertiary carbocation will have three. Thus we have the right to see that a tertiary carbocation will be most stable causing the major product, and also a main carbocation will be the very least stable resulting in the minor product.