Aliphatic Hydrocarbons: Definition and Properties

Aliphatic hydrocarbons are organic hydrocarbon compound containing carbon and hydrogen bonded together in straight chains, branched trains or non-aromatic ring system. Aliphatic compounds may be saturated (e.g., Hexane and other Alkanes) or unsaturated (e.g., Hexene and other Alkene, as well as alkynes).

Ethylene is an example of an aliphatic compound.
Aliphatic Organic compound

Definition of Aliphatic Hydrocarbon:Aliphatic hydrocarbons are organic hydrocarbon compound containing carbon and hydrogen bonded together in straight chains, branched trains or non-aromatic ring system. Aliphatic compounds may be saturated (e.g., hexane and other alkanes) or unsaturated (e.g., hexene and other alkene, as well as alkynes).

Kindly Check out some of these symbols such as C-H, C-N,C-C . Have you ever seen them
or anything similar before? If you haven’t seen them, where will you expect to
find them? Maybe in a flammable container in the chemistry lab. Probably on the highway, or on a liquefied dried curvature. Maybe when you’re getting ready to grill, or maybe when you’ve been clamping with a portable stove.


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What kind of compounds are these symbols warning us about? What makes them potentially dangerous and highly vulnerable on exposure? Some of the most common, flammable and volatile compounds are aliphatic  hydrocarbons.

Part of these classes of compounds are familiar to you. However, does the term hydrocarbon ring any bells?

The term hydrocarbon means that the compound is made up of basically hydrogen and
carbon atoms bonded together through the sharing of electrons. Carbon-based
compounds are often referred to as organic compounds , most belong to the same homologous series and some don’t .More scientifically, Organic compounds are compounds containing carbon to carbon bond linkages either in a straight chain arrangement or in a branch chain arrangement.
The term aliphatic stems from a Greek word meaning fat or oil. It’s thought that
some of the first aliphatic compounds discovered came from fats or oil. In our case, aliphatic refers to hydrocarbon compounds that are straight chained, branched or non-aromatic.
Put these two terms together and you have the definition for an aliphatic hydrocarbon .
A carbon-based compound that is straight, branched or non-aromatic. An aliphatic
compound may be a straight chain made of carbon and hydrogen bonds, like
butane, or it may be branched, like isobutane.
Notice that in a straight chain, the carbon atoms are never bonded to more than two
carbons at a time. Look at butane on the left. How many carbons is the end
carbon bonded to? How many carbons are the middle carbons bonded to? In a
branched compound, there may be three or four carbons bonded to a single
carbon. In isobutene, the outside carbons are only bonded to one carbon each,
while the central carbon is bonded to three carbons.
An aliphatic compound may also be non-aromatic, like cyclobutane. A non-aromatic
hydrocarbon is cyclic and not especially stable nature, or alicyclic. These
compounds include cycloalicyclic, it can be unsaturated with 4 pie bonds but
certainly lacks aromaticity. methylcyclohexane, and heptalene.
Hydrocarbons that are cyclic and especially stable are called aromatic hydrocarbons.
Aliphatic hydrocarbons may contain elements other than hydrogen and carbon which can be Nitrogen, Sulphur and Oxygen as in the case of Oxyrane and Oxitane. It’s not
uncommon to have oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur or chlorine atoms present. An aliphatic hydrocarbon can be either saturated or unsaturated . When saturated, a hydrocarbon contains only single bonds and contains the maximum number of hydrogens. Unsaturated hydrocarbons are the opposite. They may have one or more double bonds and less than the maximum number of hydrogens, typically they contain 1 singlw bond and 1 pie
bond for the alkene and 2 pie bond for the alkyne.
When a hydrocarbon has only single bonds, it is known as an alkane. When there is at
least one double bond, then it is known as an alkene. A hydrocarbon that contains at least one triple bond is known as an alkyne. Aliphatic hydrocarbons may be alkanes, alkenes or alkynes.
Properties of Aliphatic Compounds

Without actually wasting much of your time, let me quickly give out  the properties of Aliphatic molecules.  Aliphatic hydrocarbons are generaly quite flammable. They react with oxygen in the atmosphere to produce carbon dioxide, water and energy in what is commonly and generally known as combustion reactions. All you need to get them going is a little spark.  We burn or most synthetically combusted  methane gas (CH4),

a very simple aliphatic hydrocarbon, in our homes, fireplaces and even in our

Propane is a popular gas for grilling, powering small lamps, water heated pressured material and so on..
These flammable gases must be properly labeled and stored in pressured vessels so
they don’t escape and cause trouble. Methane smells like flame things, which helps us identify when there is a leak.Liquid aliphatic hydrocarbons, like butane, hexanes and octane, have really high vapor pressure.

This means that molecules can easily escape the liquid phase and enter the gas phase, leading to high-density collection of gas particles right over the surface of the liquid. This gas is easy to light, so careful!

A fire started over a flammable liquid is one you need to have an extinguisher
for. Even solid aliphatic hydrocarbons can ignite. Waxes and fats can sustain a flame

Basic List of Aliphatic Compounds you should know

Aliphatic compounds are very important, especially in our daily living.Open-chain compounds that contain no rings are aliphatic, irrespective of wether they contain single, double, or triple bonds. However, they might be saturated or unsaturated. Here is a highlighted list of aliphatic compounds, serially arranged according to the number of carbon atoms they contain.

Number of CarbonsAliphatic Hydrocarbons
2ethane, ethene, ethyne
3propane, propene, propyne, cyclopropane
4butane, methylpropane, cyclobutene
5pentane, dimethylpropane, cyclopentene
6hexane, cyclohexane, cyclohexene
7heptane, cyclohexane, cyclohexene
8octane, cyclooctane, cyclooctene