7.1 (a) - Organic compounds and their reactions. PART 1- ALKANES

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(a)- Write displayed, shortened and skeletal structural formulae of simple alkanes, alkenes, halogenoalkanes, primary alcohols and carboxylic acids given their systematic names and vice-versa. 

 In organic chemistry, one molecular formula may represent more than one organic compound. The formula C5H12 may represent more than one hydrocarbon - pentane, 2-methylbutane, 2,2-dimethylpropane.  

Topic 7.1 (a) requires some knowledge of the systematic names of organic compounds. A brief introduction to nomenclature is necessary. 


Because there are so many organic compounds, we have to devise a way of naming them that leaves no ambiguity. Many organic compounds have been known for a long time and have trivial names that pre-date systematic nomenclature. 

Acetic acid, CH3COOH, has the systematic name ethanoic acid 

Acetone, C3H6O, has the sytematic name propanone 

Naming Hydrocarbons 

Organic compounds have a carbon skeleton. Compounds are named in terms of this carbon skeleton and the individual carbon atoms are assigned a number to identify them. 

1 Carbon - Meth 

2 Carbon- Eth 

3 Carbon - prop 

4 Carbon- But 

5 Carbon- Pent 

After this, the prefixes take the logical names (e.g. hex, hept, oct ) 


An alkane in which the carbon atoms form a continuous chain is called a straight chain molecule. 

Isomers of these straight chains can form with an alkyl (the yl indicates that it branches off a longer chain e.g. methyl, propyl) 

Isomer -An isomer is a chemical species with the same number and types


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