YEAR 1 SEMESTER 1, 2 & 3
FUNDAMENTAL ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
PROPERTIES OF HYDROCARBONS
Hydrocarbons are compounds which contain only carbon and hydrogen, can be classified into several types, depending on their structure. Aliphatic hydrocarbons are divided into three classes: alkanes (e.g. methane, ethane and propane) have only single bonds, and are said to be saturated; alkenes (e.g. ethene and propene) and alkynes (e.g. ethyne) have carbon-carbon double or triple bonds, and are said to be unsaturated. Aromatic hydrocarbons are cyclic compounds whose structure is related to that of benzene, with six-electrons in a six-membered ring.
For this experiment, hexane will be used as an example of saturated hydrocarbons
(alkanes), cyclohexene will be used as an unsaturated hydrocarbon (alkenes) and toluene as an aromatic hydrocarbon. As a precaution during these experiments, you should be extremely careful since these organic compounds are highly volatile (they evaporate easily) and are extremely flammable. The Bunsen burner, or other sources of flames, will not be used in the laboratory, unless expressly directed by the instructor (for the combustion part of this experiment, you will ignite your hydrocarbons using a match).
All waste chemicals will be disposed of in the appropriate waste containers.
The following experiments illustrate some of the fundamental reactions of saturated, unsaturated, and aromatic hydrocarbons. The three classes sometimes react differently toward the same reagent, in which case it may be used to distinguish between them.
One of the most important uses of organic compounds, especially hydrocarbons, is combustion. This is the basis of the internal combustion engine and other heat generating sources such as using methane as the fuel for a gas furnace or water heater and propane for your home barbecue. In fact, most