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Unit 6

There are several types of hydrocarbon. This unit deals with naming hydrocarbons and their structure. Alkanes and Alkenes undergo a variety of important reactions, many of which are important processes in the chemical industry.


A hydrocarbon is a substance which contains only hydrogen and carbon. The atoms within a hydrocarbon are held together by covalent bonds.


Methane has a formula CH4.

The extended or full structural formula for methane is,

Remember: Carbon is in Group 4 so has a valency of 4 (it forms 4 bonds). Hydrogen is in group 1 so has a valency of 1 (it forms 1 bond).


Ethane is another hydrocarbon gas. Molecules of ethane have two carbon atoms. If we build a model of a hydrocarbon with two carbon atoms we find


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