Chapter 12 Saturated hydrocarbons

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organic compounds

compounds obtained from living organisms

inorganic compounds

compounds obtained from mineral constituents of the earth

organic chemistry

study of hydrocarbons (only carbons and hydrogen atoms) and their various derivatives (such as O,N,S,P,F,CL & Br)

inorganic chemistry

study of all substances other than hydrocarbons & their derivatives

Carbon bonding characteristics

1. form long chains or cyclic structures
2. 4 bonds (covalent)


a compound that contains only carbon & hydrogen atoms

hydrocarbon derivative

a compound that contains carbon & hydrogen and one or more additional elements

saturated hydrocarbon

a hydrocarbon where all carbon-carbon bonds are single bonds

categories of saturated hydrocarbons (2)

1. acyclic = chain
2. cyclic = ring

unsaturated hydrocarbons

a hydrocarbon with one or more carbon-carbon multiple bonds (DB, TB or both)


a saturated hydrocarbon in which the carbon atom arrangement is acyclic
1. only single bonds
2. no carbon atom rings

Alkane general formula


structural formula

a two-dimensional structural representation that shows how the various atoms in a molecule are bonded to each other
- makes no attempt to represent the correct bond angles

expanded structural formula

a structural formula that shows all atoms in a molecule and all bonds connecting the atoms
ex. H-C-H

condensed structural formula

a structural formula that uses groupings of atoms, in which the central atoms and the atoms connected to them are written as a group, to convey molecular structure
- bonds between carbon atoms
ex. CH₄ or CH₃-CH₃

skeletal structural formula

a structural formula that shows the arrangement and bonding of carbon atoms present in an organic molecule but does not the hydrogen atoms
ex. C-C-C-C-C means the same as


compounds that have the same molecular formula (# & kinds of atoms) but that differ in the way the atoms are arranged
-to convert with the same molecular formula requires breaking and making of bonds
-different compounds with different properties

constitutional isomers

isomers that differ in the connectivity of atoms - the order in which atoms are attached to each other within molecules. must have the same molecular formula.
- have to break bonds to convert


the specific three-dimensional arrangement of atoms in an organic at a given instant that results from rotations about carbon-carbon single bonds
-different from structural isomers = they do not require breaking of any bonds

branch chain alkanes: substituent

an atom or group of atoms attached to a chain (or ring) of carbon atoms

branch chain alkanes: Alkyl group

the group of atoms that would be obtained by removing a hydrogen
Most common
1. ---CH₃ (methyl group CH₄)
2. ---CH₂-CH₃ (ethyl group CH₃-CH₃)

alkyl group naming

named by taking the stem of the name of the alkane containing the same number of carbon atoms and adding the ending -yl

Rules for naming branch-chain alkanes (6)

1. identify longest continuous chain & name as parent. Ex. pentane
2. number the carbon atoms in the parent chain in such a way so that to give the lowest possible number for a substituent (alkyl group)
3. if only one alkyl group is present, name & locate it (by number), and prefix the number & name to that of the parent carbon chain
4. if 2 or more of the same kind of alkyl group are present, indicate the number with a greek numerical prefix. also, a number specifying the location of each identical group must be included. numbers are separated by commas, and numbers are separated from from words by hyphens
5. when 2 kinds of alkyl groups are present, number each group separately, & list the names of the alkyl groups in alphabetical order.
6. IUPAC punctuation rules
- separate numbers from each other by commas
- separate numbers from letters by hyphens
- no hyphen or space btw last-named substituent and the name of the parent alkane

line-angle structural formula

a structural representation in which a line represents a carbon-carbon bond and a carbon atom is understood to be present at every point where two lines meet and at the ends of lines.

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