Hydrocarbon Types and Examples

Hydrocarbons are formed naturally from the remains of plants and animals that are compressed through temperature and pressure for thousands of years, deep in the earth, in porous rocks such as sandstone, limestone and shale. This type of rock exists in large waters, especially oceans, and natural gas and petroleum gradually rise through the rock and get closer to the surface of the water (but still thousands of feet deep) and form a reservoir.

Broadly speaking, hydrocarbons are classified into two types, namely alfalytic and cyclic by their respective examples. Hydrocarbons can be extracted using different techniques depending on the type and material they contain. For example, hydraulic fracturing is used to extract natural gas from shales by breaking rocks and using pressurized liquids to force gas to rise through wells, reaching the earth’s surface.

table of contents

  • Hydrocarbons
    • Hydrocarbon type
      • Aliphatic hydrocarbons
      • Unsaturated hydrocarbons
      • Cyclic Hydrocarbons
    • Examples of Hydrocarbon Compounds
      • Natural gas
      • Crude oil
      • Coal
      • Plastic
      • Paraffin
      • Isopropyl alcohol
      • Asphalt
      • Pesticide
      • Rubber
      • Explosives
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In the meaning of organic chemistry , hydrocarbons can be defined as organic compounds composed entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons are examples of group 14 hydrides.

Most of the hydrocarbons found on Earth naturally occur in the petroleum fraction , where the decomposed organic material provides a lot of carbon and hydrogen which, when bound, can bind to forming seemingly unlimited chains.

Hydrocarbons are the primary energy source for civilization today. The dominant use of hydrocarbons is as a source of flammable fuels. In its solid form, hydrocarbons take the form of asphalt (bitumen).

Understanding Hydrocarbons

Hydrocarbons are organic chemical compounds composed of hydrogen and carbon atoms. Hydrocarbon molecules naturally occur and are found in crude oil, natural gas, coal, and other important energy sources.

Hydrocarbons that exist in nature can be found in several forms, including:

  1. Gas, like propane or methane.
  2. Liquids, including benzene or hexane.
  3. Low Melt Candles or Solids, such as naphthalene and paraffin wax.
  4. Polymers , including polystyrene, polypropylene, and polyethylene. Polymers are macromolecules, that is, large molecules, which consist of several repetitive subunits.

What is the presence of hydrocarbons in living cells?

Molecules in the sense of protein are present in every living cell on Earth. Therefore, all living cells are made of hydrocarbons. Our bodies, fish, trees, seaweed, cheese, and milk, are the result of hydrocarbons. In fact, anything that lives or has ever lived is made of hydrocarbons. Therefore our food, also rubber, alcohol, and even antibiotics contain hydrocarbons.

Understanding Hydrocarbons According to Experts

The definition of hydrocarbons according to experts, among others:

Encyclopedia Britannica

Hydrocarbons are a class of organic chemical compounds consisting only of the elements carbon (C) and hydrogen (H). Carbon atoms combine together to form the framework of compounds, and hydrogen atoms are attached to them in many different configurations.

Hydrocarbons are the main elements of oil and natural gas, which function as fuels and lubricants as well as raw materials for the production of plastics, fibers, rubber, solvents, explosives and industrial chemicals.

Hydrocarbon type

Here are some types of hydrocarbons along with examples, including:

Aliphatic hydrocarbons

Namely open chain hydrocarbons that do not smell. Aliphatic hydrocarbon compounds are carbon compounds whose C chains are open and that C chain allows branching. Based on the type of carbon interatomic bond, aliphatic hydrocarbon compounds are divided into two, namely:

  • Saturated hydrocarbons or Alkanes or Paraffins 

Saturated aliphatic compounds are aliphatic compounds whose C chains contain only single bonds, also called alkanes. The term paraffin itself is actually a Latin word, which means less active and because of the lower saturated hydrocarbon activity, this is called paraffin.

The general formula for saturated hydrocarbon circuit members is given by CnH2n + 2; where n is the number of series members. Organic compounds such as methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane, etc., are saturated hydrocarbons in which all carbon atoms are bound by single covalent bonds to each other.

·      Unsaturated hydrocarbons

Unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon compounds are aliphatic compounds whose C chains have double (double) or triple (triple) bonds. If you have a double bond called alkenes and have a triple link called alkyne.

  • Alkene or Olefin

Unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon compounds in which carbon atoms have a double covalent bond called ethylene or olefin or alkene hydrocarbons. The general formula for members of this series is CnH2n. Ethylene organic compounds (C2H4) are examples of alkenes.

  • Acetylene hydrocarbons or alkin

The compounds of unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbons in which carbon atoms have three covalent bonds are called acetylene or alkin. The general formula for members of this series is CnH2n. The organic compound Acetylene (C2H2) or ethane is the simplest example of this hydrocarbon.

Cyclic Hydrocarbons

Cyclic hydrocarbons are hydrocarbon compounds whose C chains are circular and the circle may also bind to the side chains. This group is further divided into alicyclic and aromatic compounds.

  • Alicyclic hydrocarbons

Alicyclic hydrocarbons are aliphatic carbon compounds that form closed chains.

  • Aromatic hydrocarbons

Aromatic hydrocarbons are closed chain hydrocarbons that have a special type of odor. Hydrocarbon compounds are composed of hydrogen and carbon and have branches like benzene, called aromatic hydrocarbons.

The general formula for members of this series is CnH2n-2. There are various compounds such as benzene; toluene, napthalene, anthracene etc. are examples of aromatic hydrocarbons where benzene is the simplest. Sometimes aromatic hydrocarbons are also called arenas.

Examples of Hydrocarbon Compounds 

The following are examples of the use of hydrocarbon compounds in daily life, including:

·      Natural gas

Natural gas (also called fossil gas) is a mixture of naturally formed hydrocarbon gases consisting mainly of methane, but usually includes various other higher amounts of alkanes, and sometimes a small portion of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium.

It was formed when layers of rotting plants and animals were exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the earth for millions of years. The energy originally obtained by plants from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in gases

·      Crude oil

Crude oil is a fossil fuel found on earth and formed from fossil plants and animals for millions of years. Crude oil is refined into various petroleum products, the most common of which is gasoline or gasoline, which is used as fuel for motor vehicles.

·      Coal

Coal is a fossil fuel. Generally it can be said that coal is a combustible sedimentary rock, formed from organic sediment, mainly is the remains of plants and formed through the process of pembatubaraan. The main elements consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

In Indonesia, coal is used as the main fuel other than diesel ( diesel fuel ) which has been commonly used in many industries.

·      Plastic

Plastic is a long chain polymer of atoms that binds to one another. This chain forms many repeating molecular units or monomers, formed from petrochemicals. This petrochemical is just a hydrocarbon of a different chemical composition.

Common plastics consist of carbon-only polymers or with oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine or sulfur in the spine. We use lots of plastic in our daily lives and in industrial activities.

·      Paraffin

Paraffin is a common name for alkane hydrocarbons with the formula C n H n + 2 . Paraffin wax refers to solid objects originating from the heaviest molecules from C 20 H 42 to C 40 H 82 .

Paraffin wax was first discovered in 1830 by Carl Reichenbach. Candles are widely used for industrial purposes, for example for food preservation to medical purposes.

·      Isopropyl alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is a popular name for a chemical compound with the formula C 3 H 8 O or C 3 H 7 OH. This compound is a colorless, flammable compound with a pungent odor, which is widely used for industrial purposes such as liniment.

The 70% Isopropyl alcohol solution in water can be used for sterilization because it can kill bacteria.

·      Asphalt

Asphalt is a hydro carbon material that is inherent ( adhesive ), brownish black, resistant to water, and visoelastic.

Asphalt is often also called bitumen, which is a binding agent in asphalt mixtures used as a surface layer of flexible pavement layers. Asphalt is mixed with other major industrial materials to form a mixture that forms the surface of the road.

·      Pesticide

Pesticides are materials that are used to control, reject, or eradicate pests (pests). Various pesticides can be grouped into several families of chemical compounds. Famous family of chemical pesticides include organochlorine, organophosphate, and carbamate.

Organochlorine hydrocarbon family can be divided into dichlorodifeniletana (DDT), cyclodiene compounds, and others. Organochlorine works by disrupting the balance of potassium-sodium ions in nerve tissue. The level of poisoning of these compounds varies, but all organochlorine compounds are persistent and can accumulate biologically

·      Rubber

Rubber is a hydrocarbon polymer contained in latex, which can come from several types of plants. The main sources of rubber production in international trade include the para or Hevea brasiliensis (Euphorbiaceae tribe).

Other plants that also produce latex latex but with slightly different properties from rubber, include members of the fig (eg banyan), sapodilla (eg sap and patchwork and manila), other Euphorbiaceae, and dandelions.

·      Explosives

Trinitrotoluene (TNT, or Trotyl) is a pale yellow scent of hydrocarbons which melts at 354 K (178 ° F, 81 ° C). Trinitrotoluene is an explosive that is used alone or mixed, for example in Torpex, Tritonal, Composition B or Amatol.


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