What Are Hydrocarbons?

Hydrocarbon is an organic chemical compound that is made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. The carbon and hydrogen atoms are linked together in different patterns and configurations. These are found naturally in the form of coal, natural gas, crude oil and other energy sources. Hydrocarbons are highly combustible and produce water, heat and carbon dioxide on combustion. It is an effective and widely used source of energy. Hydrocarbons are also used as lubricants and as raw material for the production of various petroleum products, including fibres, plastics, explosives, solvents, rubber etc.

What are the different types of Hydrocarbons?

Hydrocarbons are classified as aromatic or aliphatic based on their sources and properties. The breakdown of oils and fats forms aliphatic hydrocarbons. They can be classified into alkanes, alkenes and alkynes. Alkanes contain single bonds; alkenes contain a double carbon-carbon bond whereas, alkynes contain a triple carbon-carbon bond. At the same time, aromatic hydrocarbons are made up of a group of related substances which are formed by the extracts of plants.

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