General Formula of Paraffin

Paraffin hydrocarbons are known as alkanes. Any of the saturated hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH2n+2, where C is a carbon atom, H is a hydrogen atom, and n is an integer, is referred to as a paraffin hydrocarbon. Natural gas and petroleum contain a large amount of paraffin. At normal temperature, paraffin with fewer than 5 carbon atoms per molecule are gaseous, those with 5 to 15 carbon atoms are liquids, and straight-chain paraffin with more than 15 carbon atoms per molecule are solids. Branched-chain paraffin has a higher octane number than straight-chain paraffin, making them the more desirable gasoline component. Water is immiscible with hydrocarbons.

This page will study paraffin hydrocarbon, chlorinated alkanes, and paraffin alkane in detail.

Paraffin Alkane

Where a non-linear isomer exists, the prefix "n-" or "n-" (for "normal") is frequently used to signify straight-chain alkanes. Although not technically necessary, it is still popular in circumstances when the straight-chain and branched-chain isomers have significant differences in characteristics, such as "n-butane" rather than "butane" to distinguish it from isobutane. This group is also known as linear paraffin or n-paraffins.


Methane is a simple alkane with one carbon atom and the chemical formula CH4. Because this molecule only has single covalent bonds, its structural formula is

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Additional carbon atoms are joined to each other in a long chain alkane molecule by a single covalent bond. Each atom is connected to four hydrogen atoms in order to form four single covalent connections. Octane is the name for this long-chain structure. The structural formula of an eight-carbon alkane is C 8H 18 and the molecular formula is C8H18.

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Physical Properties of Hydrocarbon Paraffin

Solubility of Paraffin Alkane

  1. Alkanes are often non-polar compounds due to the small difference in electronegativity between carbon and hydrogen and the covalent character of the C-C or C-H bond.

  2. Polar molecules are soluble in polar solvents, while non-polar molecules are soluble in non-polar solvents, as we know. As a result, alkanes are hydrophobic, meaning they are water-insoluble.

  3. They are soluble in organic solvents, however, because the energy required to overcome existing Van Der Waals forces and generate new ones is equivalent.

Boiling Point of Paraffin Alkane

  1. As the molecular size or surface area of the molecule increases, the intermolecular Van Der Waals forces rise as well.

  2. The boiling point of alkanes rises with increasing molecular weight, with straight-chain alkanes boiling at a higher temperature than their structural isomers.

Melting Point of Paraffin Alkane

  1. The melting point of alkanes follows the same pattern as their boiling point: it rises as the molecular weight rises.

  2. This is due to the fact that higher alkanes are solids, making intermolecular forces of attraction difficult to overcome.

  3. Even-numbered alkanes have a higher melting point trend than odd-numbered alkanes, owing to the fact that even numbered alkanes pack well in the solid phase, generating a well-organized structure that is difficult to break.

Chlorinated Alkanes

When a halogen substituent attaches to an alkane molecule, one of the molecule's carbon-hydrogen bonds is transformed into a carbon-substituent bond. It's easier to understand with an example: when methane combines with chlorine, a new chemical called chloromethane is generated. The novel chemical is made of a CH3 group bound to a chlorine atom.

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Cycloalkanes (Paraffin Naphthene Aromatics)

Cycloalkanes are also known as naphthene are different from naphthalene The ring-like structure of cycloalkanes distinguishes them from other hydrocarbons. This ring is created as a result of their saturated nature, and they have three alkane molecules in their structure that aid in the formation of a ring. They are represented by the generic formula CnH2n, where n denotes the number of carbon atoms in the organic component.


These include carbon-hydrogen bonds as well as carbon-to-carbon single bonds, in which carbon atoms combine to form a ring or a cyclic structure. Cyclopropane is one of the smallest cycloalkanes, and the majority of the members of this class are thought to be more stable in nature.

Paraffins Naphthenes and Aromatics Examples:

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Cycloalkanes include cyclopentane, cyclobutane, cyclohexane, cycloheptane, cyclooctane, and others, as seen in the graphic below. The structure of a cycloalkane is determined by the number of carbon atoms present in the chemical. For example, Cyclobutane is a saturated hydrocarbon with four carbon atoms in its structure, whereas Cyclopropane is a saturated hydrocarbon with three carbon atoms in its structure.

The Following are the Physical and Chemical Properties of Paraffin Naphthene Aromatics.

  1. At normal temperature, the first four classes of cycloalkanes are said to be in a gaseous state.

  2. The boiling points of these saturated hydrocarbons are said to be between 10 and 20 K.

  3. The melting temperatures and densities of these compounds have also been observed to be greater.

  4. Because saturated compounds have a ring structure, they are also known as saturated hydrocarbons.

  5. These compounds are believed to have no polarity between the bonds because the electronegativity between the carbon-hydrogen bonds is found to be too low.

  6. Saturated hydrocarbons in this family are considered to be water-insoluble, while cycloalkanes in liquid form are thought to be good solvents for other organic compounds.

  7. When a cycloalkane molecule is burned, it is destroyed.

  8. When compared to other cycloalkanes, cyclopropane is reported to be the most reactive.

Paraffin Olefin Naphthene Aromatics

Olefin, commonly known as an alkene, is a hydrogen-carbon molecule with one or more pairs of carbon atoms connected by a double bond. Unsaturated hydrocarbons include olefins (compounds that contain only hydrogen and carbon and at least one double or triple bond).

Applications of Paraffin and Naphthene

  1. Propane and butane, sometimes known as liquefied petroleum gas, are gases at atmospheric pressure that can be liquefied at relatively low pressures (LPG). Butane is utilized in space warmers and disposable cigarette lighters, while propane is utilized in propane gas burners and as a fuel for road vehicles. Both are used in aerosol sprays as propellants.

  2. The alkanes, which range from pentane to octane, are extremely volatile liquids. They are employed as fuels in internal combustion engines because they evaporate quickly when introduced to the combustion chamber and do not form droplets, which would impede combustion uniformity.

  3. Cycloalkanes are employed as an organic solvent in the manufacture of medicines in medical applications.

  4. These are used in the culinary industry as well as in the creation of hair products.

  5. In the medical field, cycloalkane cyclopropane is employed as an anaesthetic drug.

  6. Carboplatin is a cancer treatment that is made from cyclobutane.

  7. They work in the petroleum industry as well.

  8. Some cycloalkane classes are utilized in the cosmetics industry as well as in the perfume industry as scents.

  9. As steroids, some of these saturated hydrocarbons can be found in plant and animal tissues.

Did You Know?

Alkanes are chemically inert, apolar molecules with little reactivity as organic compounds. If released into the environment, this inertness causes major ecological problems. Alkanes have a limited bioavailability for bacteria due to their lack of functional groups and low water solubility.


Some microbes, on the other hand, have the metabolic capability to use n-alkanes as both carbon and energy sources. The term "hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria" refers to bacteria that specialize in the degradation of alkanes.


Methane is combustible, explosive, and deadly to breathe; because it is a colourless, odourless gas, it must be handled with extreme caution. Ethane is also very flammable, explosive, and hazardous to breathe. Both of these have the potential to cause asphyxia. Propane is also combustible and explosive, and if ingested, can cause drowsiness or coma. Butane is just like propane in terms of its dangers. Alkanes are equally harmful to the environment. Branched alkanes degrade more slowly than unbranched alkanes. Despite the fact that the amount of methane in the atmosphere is very low, it is regarded as the most damaging greenhouse gas to the environment.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question1: Why is Alkane Known as Paraffin?

Ans: You are aware that alkane is the modern IUPAC term for the hydrocarbon class previously known as 'paraffin hydrocarbons' or 'paraffin.' As a result of their lower affinity for common reagents, alkanes are referred to as paraffin. In other words, they are dormant and do not quickly act.

Question2: What are the Characteristics of Alkanes?

Ans: Non-polar solvents are alkanes. Alkanes are nonpolar because they exclusively contain C and H atoms. Water is immiscible with alkanes, although they are widely miscible in other non-polar solvents. Because alkanes with weak dipole bonds are unable to break the strong hydrogen connection between water molecules, they are not miscible in water.

Question3: What are Called Alkanes?

Ans: Alkanes, commonly known as paraffin, are a type of hydrocarbon that is entirely hydrogen-saturated. They have the most carbon to hydrogen covalent connections since they have no double or triple bonds in their carbon skeletons.