What is alkanes?

What Does alkanes Mean

The first thing to determine is that the word that concerns us now is a neologism. Specifically, it was created from the particle “alk-”, which is part of alcohol, and the suffix “-ano”, which is used to give hydrocarbons their names.

An alkane is a hydrocarbon : a chemical compound formed from the combination of carbon and hydrogen. In this case, it is a saturated hydrocarbon , since its covalent bonds are simple.
Other important information about alkanes are the following:

-The formula that defines them is CnH2n + 2. In this case, it must be stated that n corresponds to the number of carbons it has.

-When it comes to naming the alkanes, it is done using the aforementioned suffix "-ano" and a prefix. This can be of different types, such as the following: "met-", "but-", "et-", "prop-" ... Examples of this are methane, propane, butane, ethane ...

-Of alkanes you can say they are insoluble in water.

-The main use that they are usually given is as fuel. Why? Because, unquestionably, they release a great deal of heat.

-As a general rule, alkanes are divided into four different groups: cyclic, linear, polycyclic and branched.

-Its boiling and melting points are low.

-They are not rigid.

-When analyzing, working and using alkanes, they take on special importance and value from their combustion to the well-known potential energy diagrams. In the same way, we cannot forget either what is known as the Newman projection. This serves to check the energy of the possible conformations that take place.

In general, alkanes are said to be aliphatic because the structure of their molecules involves an open chain. However, there are also cycloalkanes or cyclic alkanes, which have chains of cyclic type. In all cases, alkanes do not have functional groups such as carboxyls, carbonyls or others.
The methane is an alkane having one atom of carbon. With two carbon atoms we find ethane , while propane has three carbon atoms and butane , four carbon atoms.
On our planet , it is possible to find alkanes in oil , natural gas and biogas , among other sources. It is also found in the stomach of cows as methane gas , for example.
Importantly, alkanes have been found on other planets. The gaseous planets usually have alkanes in their atmosphere , such as Uranus , Neptune , Saturn and Jupiter . In meteorites that have fallen to the surface of the Earth , the presence of alkanes has also been detected.

Alkanes have multiple uses. Certain alkanes can be used to produce electricity or as fuel for heating and powering engines. Alkanes also serve to obtain oils . The use of alkanes must be controlled since it is a compound that, when mixed with air, can explode.

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