Unsaturated Hydrocarbon

Definition - What does Unsaturated Hydrocarbon mean?

Unsaturated Hydrocarbon is a hydrocarbon that has double or triple covalent bonds between adjoining carbon atoms. These bonds make unsaturated hydrocarbons more reactive than the saturated hydrocarbons. They have fewer hydrogen atoms bonded to carbon atoms as compared to saturated hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons having at least one triple bond are known as alkynes and those having, at least, one double bond are known as alkenes. The term "unsaturated" is used to refer a compound that contains triple or double bonds and hence, not all carbon atoms are bonded to different atoms.

Petropedia explains Unsaturated Hydrocarbon

The position of double or triple bonds is determined by a number written either before the -yne or -ene suffix or at the start of the name. This number depicts the position of first of the carbon atoms making the bond.

There are three types of unsaturated hydrocarbons:

Alkynes: These unsaturated hydrocarbons have one or more than one triple bonds of carbon with carbon. The suffix "-yne" shows that there is a triple bond in the compound.

Alkenes: These hydrocarbons have one or more than one double bonds of carbon with carbon. The suffix "-ene" shows that there is a double bond in the compound.

Aromatic Hydrocarbons: These hydrocarbons are also called arenes which contain an aromatic ring or benzene ring, in their chemical structure.

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