3.3 Organic Chemistry: .2 Alkanes Flashcards Preview

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what are alkanes?

hydrocarbons that only contain only hydrogen and carbon

-saturated compounds (they only have a single covalent bonds)


what is the general molecular formula for alkanes?



give the name for these alkane:











CH4 = methane

C2H6 = ethane

C3H8 =propane

C4H10 =butane

C5H12 =pentane

C6H14 =hexane

C7H16 =heptane

C8H18 =octane

C9H20 =nonane

C10H22 =decane


how is crude oil (aka petroleum) seperated?

-by using fractional distillation

-this method works because the hydrocarbons have different boiling points

-first of all the crude oil is heated so that it turns into a vapour at about 350 degrees celcius

-the vapour enters the fractionating column which is little bit cooler

-this means that long chained hydrocarbons with very high boiling condense and they collect at the bottom

-the rest of the vapour rises up the column where it is a bit cooler. the next longest chains condense and collect there. this continues all the way up the column

-at the top the chemicals are still gases because they have low boiling points and it is never cool enough to condense these


what is a fraction?

a group of hydrocarbons with similar boiling points and similar chain lenghts


for each fraction state what the aproximate number of carbons in the alkane chain would be expected and what the uses are:

refinery gases (really)

gasoline (petrol) (good)

Naptha (nice)

kerosene (parrafin) (kangaroos)

Diesel (gas oil) (dont)

fuel oil (fight)

bitumen (back)

refinery gases: usually have 1 - 4 carbons

used for bottled gas (camping gas), LPG

gasoline petrol): usally have 5- 12 carbons

used for fuel for cars

naptha: usually have 7-14 carbons

processed to make petrochemicals

kerosene (parrafin): usually have 11- 15 carbons

used for jet engines, central heating fuel

diesel (gas oil): usually have 15-19 carbons

used for fuel for diesel engines in cars, trucks etc

fuel oil: usually has 30- 40

used for fuel for big ships

bitumen: usally has 50+ carbons

used for road surfacing and asphalt for roofs


what are the three types of trends in fractional distillation?

going down the column the trends are:

-the hydrocarbon chain increases

-the boiling point increases

-the temperature in the column increases


what is cracking?

cracking is the break down of long hydrocarbon chains into smaller more useful ones


give two economic reasons for cracking long chain alkanes

-some fractions have large supply but little demand e.g bitumen

-where as some shorter chains have a greater deman but little supply e.g petrol

-so cracking is used to meet this demand by cracking the heavier fractions into the more valuble and useful fractions

-alkenes are also more useful than alkanes as starting materials fo further chemical reactions


what are the two types of cracking?

thermal and catalytic


in thermal cracking what is the;

-conditions used

-way of fission

-intermediate chemicals

-products produced

-conditions used= high temp (up to 1000 degrees celcius) and high pressure (up to 70 atm)

-way of fission= homolytic fission (eqaul splitting of a covalent bond)

-intermediate chemicals= the homolytic fission produces free radicals

-products produced= smaller alkanes and smaller alkenes e.g polyethene


in catalytic cracking what is the;

-conditions used

-way of fission

-intermediate chemicals

-products produced

-conditions used= zeolite catalyst (hydrated aluminosillicate) with high pressure and temperature

-way of fission= hetrolytic (uneqaul splitting of covalent bond)

-intermediate chemicals= from the hetrolytic fission a carbocation is produced

-products produced= motor fuels and hydrocarbons that are Aromatic (compounds that contain benzene rings -6 carbon atoms with three double bonds), Branched and Cyclic


why does using a catalyst cut costs in catalytic cracking?

-the reactions can be done at a low pressure and lower temperature

-the catalyst also speeds up the reaction, saving time


why would we not crack octaine industrially?

octane has a short enough chain lenght to be in demand


an alkane containing 12 carbon atoms is cracked to produce hexane, butene and ethene.

write an blanced eqautioon for this reaction

C12H6 --> C6H14 + C4H8 + C2H4


what is a fuel?

a chemical which releases heat when it is burnt


what are the differences between complete and incomplete combustion?


burning in a plentiful supply of oxygen

CO2 is produced


burning in limited supply of oxygen

CO (carbon monoxide) or C (carbon/soot) is produced



what is carbon monoxide and why is it dangerous?

-carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas

-it can combine with haemoglobin and prevent oxygen from passing around the body.

-this can lead to death


what problems does soot (Carbon from incomplete combustion) cause?

-breathing problems

-it can also build up in egines, meaning they down work properly


which two compounds are produced when an alkane burns completely?

carbon dioxide and water


what are the three green house gasses?

-Carbon dioxide

-water vapour



what has been increasing the amount of green house gases in our atmosphere?

-an increasing population has meant that there is an icreased use in fossil fuels so more CO2 and H2O are produced

-deforestation means that less CO2 and H2O is taken in for photosynthesis


describe how the increase in green house gases have lead to global warming

(green house effect)

-ultra violet radiation is emitted towards the earth from the sun

-this is then reflected back by the earth but at a smaller frequency (infrared radiation)

-the green houses gases in out atmosphere are really good at absorbing the infrared energy. the emit sone of the enrgy they absorb back towards the earth keeping it warm

-therfore the more green house gases in the atomosphere the more infrared is emited back towards the earth and the warmer the earth gets

-this leads to global warming

-the effects of global warming are; ice caps melting, sea levels rising resulting in changing weather conditions (climate change)


how can the green house effect be reduced?

using more renewable resources instead of fossil fuels


what are the gases that cause acid rain?

sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NO)


how is acid rain caused by sulphur dioxide (prodcue an eqaution to show this)

when fossil fuels burn the sulphur in them  combines with the oxygen in the air to make sulphur dioxide

S + O2 --> SO2

this gass then combines with water to make acid rain


how is acid rain caused by nitrogen oxide? produce and eqaution

in cars the spark of the ignition causes the nitrogen and oxygen in the air to combine and form nitrogenoxide

N2 + O2 --> 2NO

this gas combines with rain water to make acid rain


what are the effects of acid rain?

-acid rain corrodes metlas

-it can erode rocks

-destroy plantation if the soil is too acidic

-affect aqautiic animals (fish) if the lake are too acidic


how can acid rain be reduced (reducing SO2)

+-in indursty chimneys are lined with oxide or calcium carbonate

-this neutralises the SO2 to reduce the amoind of acid rain producded

CaO + 2H2O + SO2 --> CaSO3 + 2H2O

CaCO3 + 2H2O + SO2 --> CaSO3 + 2H2O + CO2


how can acid rain be produced (reducing NO)

-cars are now a days hav catalytic converters

-they convert harmful gases into less harmful gases

2NO + 2CO --> 2CO2 + N2