Definition - What does Hydrocarbon mean?

Hydrocarbon is a compound which is entirely made up of hydrogen and carbon atoms. Most of the hydrocarbons found on Earth occur naturally in crude oil where the decayed organic matter provides plenty of hydrogen and carbon which when bonded form links to create seemingly limitless chains. Hydrocarbons have different molecular structures which result in different empirical formulas between the Hydrocarbons. They have an inherent ability of bonding to themselves known as catenation, which allows them to create more complex molecules like cyclohexane and benzene rarely.

Petropedia explains Hydrocarbon

Hydrocarbons are primary source of energy for various civilizations and are predominantly used as a source of combustible fuel. They take a form of bitumen they are solids. Hydrocarbon are of the following types:

  • Cycloalklanes: They consist of one or more carbon rings with Hydrocarbon atoms are attached to them.
  • Aromatic Hydrocarbons: They are also known as arenes and they consist of at least one aromatic ring.
  • Saturated Hydrocarbons: They are simplest form of Hydrocarbon species which are composed completely of single bonds.
  • Unsaturated Hydrocarbons: They are the Hydrocarbons which consist of one or more than one triple or double bonds between the carbon atoms.
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