C1 Products from oil

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Cracking hydrocarbons

  • Hydrocarbon molecules can be broken down by heating them with steam to a very high temperature or by passing their vapours over a hot catalyst.
  • Cracking produces alkanes and alkenes.
  • Alkanes are unsaturated hydrocarbons.
  • Alkenes turn bromine water from orange to colourless.

Making polymers from alkenes

  • Plastics are made of very large molecules called polymers.
  • Polymers are large molecules made when many small molecules (monomers) join together.
  • Alkenes can be used to make polymers such as poly(ethene) and poly(propene).

New and useful polymers

  • New polymers


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