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Key People:Pierre-Eugène-Marcellin BerthelotGeorge A. OlahCharles-Adolphe Wurtz...(Show more)Related Topics:styrenebenzeneolefinxylenenaphthalene...(Show more)

A hydrocarbon is any of a class of necessary chemicals comprised of only the aspects carbon (C) and hydrogen (H). The carbon atoms join together to kind the framework of the compound, and also the hydrogen atoms attach to lock in numerous different configurations.

Hydrocarbons room the major constituents of petroleum and also natural gas. They serve as fuels and also lubricants and raw materials for the production of plastics, fibres, rubbers, solvents, explosives, and also industrial chemicals.

Nineteenth-century chemistry classified hydrocarbons together either aliphatic or aromatic on the communication of their sources and properties.

Hydrocarbons consist of fossil fuels. One of the main spin-offs of fossil fuel combustion is carbon dioxide (CO2). The ever-increasing use of fossil fuels in industry, transportation, and construction has added big amounts that CO2 to earth atmosphere. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations fluctuated between 275 and 290 components per million by volume (ppmv) of dried air in between 1000 CE and the so late 18th century but had increased to 316 ppmv by 1959 and rose to 412 ppmv in 2018. CO2 behaves together a greenhouse gas—that is, it absorbs infrared radiation (net warm energy) emitted from earth surface and also reradiates it back to the surface. Thus, the considerable CO2 boost in the setting is a major contributing element to human-induced worldwide warming.

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hydrocarbon, any kind of of a class of organic chemistry compounds composed only of the facets carbon (C) and hydrogen (H). The carbon atoms sign up with together to kind the structure of the compound, and the hydrogen atoms affix to castle in countless different configurations. Hydrocarbons room the principal constituents the petroleum and also natural gas. They serve as fuels and lubricants as well as raw products for the production of plastics, fibres, rubbers, solvents, explosives, and industrial chemicals.

Many hydrocarbons happen in nature. In addition to comprising fossil fuels, lock are existing in trees and plants, as, for example, in the form of pigments dubbed carotenes that take place in carrots and green leaves. More than 98 percent of natural crude rubber is a hydrocarbon polymer, a chainlike molecule consists of numerous units linked together. The structures and chemistry of separation, personal, instance hydrocarbons count in large part on the species of chemical bonds that connect together the atoms of your constituent molecules.

Nineteenth-century chemistry classified hydrocarbons as either aliphatic or aromatic on the communication of their sources and also properties. Aliphatic (from Greek aleiphar, “fat”) described hydrocarbons acquired by chemical destruction of fat or oils. Aromatic hydrocarbons comprised a group of related substances derived by chemical deterioration of certain pleasant-smelling plant extracts. The terms aliphatic and also aromatic are preserved in modern-day terminology, however the compounds they explain are differentiated on the basis of structure quite than origin.

Aliphatic hydrocarbons are separated into three main groups according to the types of bonds castle contain: alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes. Alkanes have only solitary bonds, alkenes save a carbon-carbon dual bond, and alkynes save on computer a carbon-carbon triple bond. Aromatic hydrocarbons room those that are significantly an ext stable than their Lewis structures would suggest; i.e., they own “special stability.” They room classified as either arenes, which contain a benzene ring as a structure unit, or nonbenzenoid fragrant hydrocarbons, which possess distinct stability but lack a benzene ring together a structural unit.


This group of hydrocarbons serves together an assist in shortcut structural features with properties yet does not call for that a certain substance it is in assigned come a single class. Indeed, that is common for a molecule to combine structural units characteristic of two or more hydrocarbon families. A molecule that consists of both a carbon-carbon triple bond and a benzene ring, because that example, would exhibit some properties that space characteristic of alkynes and others that room characteristic that arenes.

Alkanes are explained as saturated hydrocarbons, when alkenes, alkynes, and aromatic hydrocarbons are stated to it is in unsaturated.

Aliphatic hydrocarbons


Alkanes, hydrocarbons in which all the bonds room single, have actually molecular formulas that satisfy the general expression CnH2n + 2 (where n is one integer). Carbon is sp3 hybridized (three electron bag are involved in bonding, forming a tetrahedral complex), and each C—C and also C—H link is a sigma (σ) link (see chemical bonding). In bespeak of increasing number of carbon atoms, methane (CH4), ethane (C2H6), and propane (C3H8) room the first three members the the series.


Methane, ethane, and propane space the only alkanes uniquely identified by your molecular formula. Because that C4H10 two various alkanes fulfill the rules of chemistry bonding (namely, that carbon has four bonds and hydrogen has actually one in neutral molecules). One compound, called n-butane, whereby the prefix n- represents normal, has actually its four carbon atom bonded in a constant chain. The other, called isobutane, has a branched chain.


Different compounds that have the exact same molecular formula are called isomers. Isomers that differ in the bespeak in i beg your pardon the atoms are associated are said to have different constitutions and also are described as constitution isomers. (An older surname is structural isomers.) The compounds n-butane and isobutane are constitutional isomers and are the only ones feasible for the formula C4H10. Because isomers are various compounds, they deserve to have different physical and chemical properties. For example, n-butane has actually a greater boiling suggest (−0.5 °C <31.1 °F>) 보다 isobutane (−11.7 °C <10.9 °F>).

There is no straightforward arithmetic relationship between the variety of carbon atoms in a formula and also the number of isomers. Graph theory has been supplied to calculation the number of constitutionally isomeric alkanes possible for values of n in CnH2n + 2 native 1 through 400. The number of constitutional isomers rises sharply as the variety of carbon atoms increases. Over there is most likely no upper limit to the number of carbon atoms feasible in hydrocarbons. The alkane CH3(CH2)388CH3, in i beg your pardon 390 carbon atoms room bonded in a consistent chain, has actually been synthesized as an instance of a so-called superlong alkane. Number of thousand carbon atoms are joined with each other in molecule of hydrocarbon polymers such together polyethylene, polypropylene, and also polystyrene.

variety of possible alkane isomers molecule formula variety of constitutional isomers
C3H8 1
C4H10 2
C5H12 3
C6H14 5
C7H16 9
C8H18 18
C9H20 35
C10H22 75
C15H32 4,347
C20H42 366,319
C30H62 4,111,846,763


The need to give each link a distinct name requires a richer variety of terms 보다 is available with descriptive prefixes such as n- and iso-. The naming of essential compounds is assisted in through the use of formal solution of nomenclature. Nomenclature in organic chemistry is of 2 types: common and also systematic. Usual names originate in plenty of different ways yet share the function that there is no important connection in between name and also structure. The name that coincides to a particular structure must just be memorized, lot like learning the surname of a person. Methodical names, ~ above the other hand, are keyed directly to molecular structure according come a typically agreed upon set of rules. The most widely used standards for organic nomenclature progressed from proposal made by a team of chemistry assembled for that objective in Geneva in 1892 and have to be revised top top a regular basis through the international Union the Pure and also Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The IUPAC rule govern every classes of necessary compounds but are ultimately based upon alkane names. Compound in other family members are viewed as obtained from alkanes by additional functional groups to, or otherwise modifying, the carbon skeleton.

The IUPAC rule assign names to unbranched alkanes according to the number of their carbon atoms. Methane, ethane, and propane are retained for CH4, CH3CH3, and CH3CH2CH3, respectively. The n- prefix is not provided for unbranched alkanes in systematic IUPAC nomenclature; therefore, CH3CH2CH2CH3 is characterized as butane, no n-butane. Start with five-carbon chains, the names of unbranched alkanes consist of a Latin or Greek stem matching to the number of carbons in the chain complied with by the suffix -ane. A team of link such as the unbranched alkanes the differ native one an additional by successive introduction of CH2 teams constitute a homologous series.

IUPAC names of unbranched alkanes alkane formula name alkane formula name
CH4 methane CH3(CH2)6CH3 octane
CH3CH3 ethane CH3(CH2)7CH3 nonane
CH3CH2CH3 propane CH3(CH2)8CH3 decane
CH3CH2CH2CH3 butane CH3(CH2)13CH3 pentadecane
CH3(CH2)3CH3 pentane CH3(CH2)18CH3 icosane
CH3(CH2)4CH3 hexane CH3(CH2)28CH3 triacontane
CH3(CH2)5CH3 heptane CH3(CH2)98CH3 hectane

Alkanes with branched chain are called on the basis of the name of the longest chain of carbon atoms in the molecule, dubbed the parent. The alkane displayed has seven carbons in that longest chain and is as such named together a derivative the heptane, the unbranched alkane that has seven carbon atoms. The place of the CH3 (methyl) substituent ~ above the seven-carbon chain is specified by a number (3-), dubbed a locant, acquired by successively number is numbered the carbons in the parent chain beginning at the end nearer the branch. The link is therefore called 3-methylheptane.


When there space two or much more identical substituents, replicating prefixes (di-, tri-, tetra-, etc.) are used, in addition to a separate locant for each substituent. Different substituents, such together ethyl (―CH2CH3) and methyl (―CH3) groups, room cited in alphabet order. Replicating prefixes room ignored when alphabetizing. In alkanes, numbering begins at the end nearest the substituent the appears very first on the chain so that the carbon come which it is attached has actually as short a number together possible.

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Methyl and ethyl are examples of alkyl groups. One alkyl group is acquired from one alkane through deleting one of its hydrogens, thereby leaving a potential allude of attachment. Methyl is the only alkyl team derivable from methane and also ethyl the only one from ethane. There are two C3H7 and four C4H9 alkyl groups. The IUPAC rules for naming alkanes and also alkyl groups cover even very complex structures and are on regular basis updated. They space unambiguous in the sense that, although a single compound might have much more than one exactly IUPAC name, there is no opportunity that two different compounds will have the same name.