Alkanes


The alkanes are the simplest form of organic compounds. They are made up
of only Carbon atoms and Hydrogen atoms. All of the bonds are single and the
number of hydrogen atoms versus carbon atoms follows this formula: CnH2n+2
Alkanes are all non-polar molecules so they aren\'t soluble in water. Here are
some more facts. -Referred to as "Saturated" -They have
-low densities
-low melting points
-low boiling points -Refer to "Slide 29" sheet
We couldn\'t find any information on who discovered them. Or on the what,
where, or when. However the first alkane that was discovered was probably
methane. Because, of course, this is the gas that cows belch.
The journal of toxology report that a 15 year old boy was stricken with
hemiparesis "resulting from acute intoxication following inhalation of butane
gas." Hemiparesis is when half of a person\'s body is paralyzed. Through
reactions alkanes can be transformed into chloroform. This has been shown to
accumulate in lungs of swimmers after they swim for extended periods of time.
As mentioned above chloroform can be produced which can be used for
anesthesia. Also dichloromethane, or paint stripper and 1,2-dichloroethane
which is a dry cleaning fluid. Here is a sample reaction where a halogen
replaces a hydrogen. CH4(g) + C12(g) ----> CH3Cl(g) + HCl(g)
There are many uses for alkanes, for instance: Propane is used in gas
grills, butane is used in cigarette lighters, through various reactions
scientists can make paint stripper, anesthesia or dry cleaning fluid. The
Pentanes and Hexanes are also highly flammable and make really cool explosions.
Heptane, octane and nonane make up gasoline. The "Octane Scale" on gas pumps
uses a system which rates n-heptane at a 0 and isooctane at 100.
Currently propane gas is being studied to use it as a fuel for more
efficient cars. Here is the reaction when propane is oxidized. C3H8 + 2O2 --
--> H2O + 3C Technically under perfect conditions only water and carbon are
given off. But I\'m sure that there would be Carbon dioxide or monoxide also.
In the anything else category, goes the cow belching money. The
Environmental protection Agency allocates $500,000 annually to do research on
belching cows.

Category: Science