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Summary of Chemistry Textbook: Section 11.

1 Introduction to Organic Chemistry

- Carbon has four valence electrons, which allows each carbon atom to form up to four other
- Carbon can form single, double or triple bonds
- Carbon can bond to itself, forming long chains and cyclic molecules
- Carbon can bond to a range of other elements, including hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur
and chlorine
- To deal with a vast range of compounds, chemists look at various series or families of
compounds that have common characteristics
- Hydrocarbons contain only two elements: hydrogen and carbon
- A homologous series is a family of carbon compounds with common characteristics
- Homologous series is a group of carbon compounds with the same general formula
- Each member differs from the previous member by one CH
- Members of a homologous series have similar chemical properties, and there is a gradual
change in physical properties as more carbon atoms are added

Basic hydrocarbons are those with single bonds
Simplest of these is methane (CH
), first in a series of compounds called alkanes
Alkanes are part of a homologous series
Term saturated is also applied to alkanes
Saturated hydrocarbons have only single carboncarbon bonds and therefore have
the maximum number of hydrogen atoms; that is, they are saturated with hydrogen
General formula for the homologous series of alkanes is C
2n + 2

Number of carbon atoms Prefix
1 Meth-
2 Eth-
3 Prop-
4 But-
5 Pent-
6 Hex-
7 Hept-
8 Oct-
9 Non-
10 Dec-

- Chemical properties of alkanes are similar
- However, their physical properties vary systematically with the length of the molecule
- The size of a non-polar molecule, such as an alkane influences the strength of its
intermolecular forces due to the increasing can der Waals forces between the molecules
- As the length of the molecule increases, melting and boiling points increase, viscosity and
density increase and volatility and solubility in water decrease
Structural isomers
- Molecules with the same molecular formula and different structural formulas are called
structural isomers
- As the length and complexity of the molecules increases, drawing the full structural formulas
becomes more difficult
- More useful representations are semi-structural formulas, in which each carbon atom is
listed alongside its attached hydrogen atoms
Naming hydrocarbons:
1. Identify the longest carbon chain
2. Number the carbons, starting from the end closest to the branch
3. Name the side branches and main chain
4. Combine to write the full name
1. State two characteristics of a homologous series.
A homologous series is a family of carbon compounds with common characteristics with the
same general formula.
2. Give the molecular formula and draw structural formulas of each of the following
a) Butane

b) The alkane with 6 carbon atoms

3. Draw structural formulas for each of the following hydrocarbon molecules.
a) 2-Methylbutane

4. Name the hydrocarbons shown below.
a) 2-methylbutane
b) 3-methylpentane