alkane


alkane

Any of a class of hydrocarbons whose molecules consist only of carbon and hydrogen atoms joined by single covalent bonds (general formula CH). The simplest is methane (CH). Alkanes with more than three carbon atoms may have straight and branched isomers. Cycloalkanes have ring structures (but are not aromatic compounds) with two fewer hydrogen atoms per molecule than the corresponding alkane; many have more than one ring. Commercial sources include petroleum and natural gas. Uses, often as mixtures, include fuels, solvents, and raw materials. See also paraffin.

Variants of ALKANE

alkane or paraffin

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on alkane, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up alkane? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More