Al Kane


Pretty lame title there when the actual title is "The 10 Alkanes YOU should KNOW". But you had to click on it, didn't you? It was truly clickbait. So now you need to embrace the first 10 alkanes which is a fancy name for a simple saturated hydrocarbon. Here is the general formula for all alkanes:

CnH2n+2

So that is really pretty easy formula-wise. Now lets attach names. In organic you name pretty much everything in a very systematic way. The base or stem name is based on the number of carbons and the alkanes are the most basic of all. They will all end with the suffix -ane and will start with a stem that maps to the number of carbons. Just memorized it because it will serve you well in both chemistry and life. Check out the table below. The boiling points are also there as a reference because that is the kind of guy I am.

HEY! The first 4 of these are GASES at room temperature. This chapter is on gases. Coincidence? I think not.

nameformulastate (25°C)BP (°C)
methaneCH4gas–162
ethaneC2H6gas–89
propaneC3H8gas–42
butaneC4H10gas0
pentaneC5H12liquid36
hexaneC6H14liquid69
heptaneC7H16liquid98
octaneC8H18liquid126
nonaneC9H20liquid151
decaneC10H22liquid174


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