Unsaturated Hydrocarbon

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What is Unsaturated Hydrocarbon?

As we are completely aware that an organic compound is made up of carbons and hydrogen atoms. But unsaturated carbons state that adjacent carbon atoms have formed either a double or triple bond with each other. To make them saturated, we need to add more hydrogen atoms to them.

These unsaturated ones can be in the form of straight-chain or branched chains or aromatic compounds. The ones which have at least one double bond between carbon atoms are known as alkenes. But if there is at least one triple bond between carbons in an organic compound, they are alkynes. Below you will understand different types, examples, and the uses of Unsaturated Hydrocarbons in detail.


What are Hydrocarbons? Give Examples.

An organic compound is a hydrocarbon when it contains carbon and hydrogen atoms in it. These can be either saturated or unsaturated. Saturated ones are those having a single bond between two carbon atoms or with a hydrogen atom. Unsaturated ones are those which have either a double or triple bond with two adjacent carbon atoms.

Some basic saturated hydrocarbon examples are methane and ethane. Unsaturated Hydrocarbon examples are Ethene and Ethyne.


What are Different Types of Unsaturated Carbon Compounds?

According to the basic unsaturated hydrocarbon definition, there are three different types. These are:

  • Alkenes

  • Alkynes

  • Aromatic

The classification is based upon the type of carbon-carbon bond in the compound. Also, it is defined by its basic structure.

  • If there is at least one double bond between two adjacent carbon atoms in a hydrocarbon, those are alkenes or olefins. Ethene is the example of such a type given by C2H4. These will be having only one double bond with no functional groups. The basic formula is given by C2H2n.

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  • In Alkynes, there is at least one triple bond between two adjacent carbon atoms. An example of such a kind is acetylene given by C2H2. The basic unsaturated hydrocarbon formula for alkynes is given by C2H2n-2.

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If you want to check if a particular hydrocarbon is unsaturated, you can add bromine water to it. In case water turns decolourised, it is unsaturated. If it forms a precipitate, then it is phenol. Also, benzene is the one that will not decolourise bromine water. 


What are the Different Uses of Unsaturated Carbon Compounds?

Uses of compounds listed among unsaturated category are:

  • It is the usual case of ripening fruits with the help of alkenes.

  • In chemistry, we include unsaturated carbons to synthesise various compounds. They are usually used as monomers in such areas.

  • Mustard gas is prepared with the help of alkenes which is often required for chemical warfare. It is poisonous.

  • Acetylene is the fuel used inside a torch that we generally use in a home project.

  • Unsaturated compounds are generally used in the manufacturing of plastics.

  • Alkenes are used in industries for synthesising fuel, detergent, plastic, and alcohol.

  • The use of Polystyrene is generally for disposable cups, egg cartons, and other convenient products.

Physical Properties of Unsaturated Carbon

  • As talked about above, unsaturated compounds have either one double or triple bond. These are generally given by the formula C2H2n and C2H2n-2 .

  • To make unsaturated as saturated compounds, we need to add hydrogen atoms to them. This will form more carbon and hydrogen bonds.

  • The carbon-carbon bond formed in a double bond of carbons will form 120 degree angles.

  • The carbon-carbon bond formed in the triple bond of carbons will form 180 degree angles.

  • Unsaturated compounds get through different reactions, including combustion reactions, addition reactions, oxidation reactions performed by alkenes, polymerisation of alkenes.

  • Combustion reactions include the formation of carbon dioxide and water.

  • The addition reaction is either symmetrical or unsymmetrical.

  • Oxidation Reactions include either addition of oxygen in a molecule or the removal of hydrogen from a molecule.

  • If reactions are conducted under pressure at a particular temperature with the help of a catalyst, these are polymerisation reactions. The molecules produced are polymers.

  • The most common example of aromatic compounds universally considered is benzene. It forms 120 degrees between atoms.

The above article has discussed different properties, types, and uses of unsaturated hydrocarbons. Surely, this will help you understand and clarify your concepts on the topic.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Are Alkynes Unsaturated Compounds in Organic Compounds?

Ans: According to the basic unsaturated hydrocarbon definition, there must be at least one double or a triple bond between two adjacent carbons in an organic compound. Alkynes have at least one triple bond between two adjacent carbon atoms. Thus these are unsaturated compounds. These have the triple bond; thus, the naming convention is given by “-yne” as the suffix. The basic formula for alkynes is given by C2H2n-2. These are made up of functional groups with a traditional name as acetylene. As compared to other hydrocarbons, alkynes are hydrophobic. These have formed a maximum carbon-carbon bond. Thus in terms of bond strength, it is given by 839 kJ/mol. This is very hard to break.

2. Are Unsaturated Hydrocarbons Good for You?

Ans: As compared to saturated compounds, unsaturated carbons are healthier—these help in removing the level of bad cholesterol present in our body. Thus help in improving blood circulation on a good scale. You are not prompted to form heart disease with such compounds and also reduces inflammation in your body. Unsaturated ones are affluent in polyunsaturated fats. Thus they also bring Vitamin E into your diet, which is highly required for good body growth. Your body is not on the verge of forming rheumatoid arthritis. These compounds bring good development in your body cells and introduce an antioxidant diet to your body. These compounds are known to provide body nourishment.