Home Chemistry Hydrocarbon

Alkanes

Alkanes or Paraffin Wax Chemical Formula

Alkanes or Paraffin are the saturated hydrocarbons having the general molecular formula CnH2n+2 and occur natural sources in natural gas, mineral oil, and petroleum oils like paraffinic or paraffin wax uses for the preparation of candles, wax paper, polishes, cosmetics, electrical insulators, perfumes, and medicine. The alkanes contain sp3 carbon surrounded by the hydrogen atom. In learning chemistry, the simplest alkane like methane all four hydrogen atoms are equivalent in its structure. The normal alkanes or paraffin from C1 to C4 are colorless gases, C5 to C17 are colorless liquids and from C18 are colorless solids or wax with zigzag chain structure in chemistry or chemical science.

The boiling point of hydrocarbon increases regularly with the increasing carbon atom. Other physical properties like melting points, density, viscosity alkanes, or paraffin wax also increase in the same way as the boing point of alkane. For alcohol, hydrogen bonding may produce an association of molecules but in alkanes or paraffin wax, only weak Van der Waals forces or covalent bond type is concerned for the association of molecules. The alkanes or paraffin wax is almost insoluble in water but readily soluble in alcohol or ether. The solubility of these compounds decreases with increases in molecular weight.

Preparation of Alkanes in Laboratory

Alkanes or Paraffin wax natural sources, molecular formula, preparation and chemically uses

The unsaturated compounds alkanes or paraffin prepared by different synthesis methods or from chemical compounds like alkene or olefin, alkyl halide, alcohol, aldehyde, carboxylic acid, natural gas, and wax is prepared from petroleum oil by creaking.

  • By catalytic reduction of unsaturated hydrocarbons like alkene or olefin uses for the preparation of alkanes. For example, catalytic reduction of ethylene in presence of chemical catalyst nickel produces paraffin like ethane.
  • Reduction of an alkyl halide by dissolving metals like zinc in acetic acid or hydrochloric acid, zinc in sodium hydroxide, the zinc-copper couple in ethanol, etc uses for the preparation of alkane.
  • By reduction of aldehyde in the presence of Zn-Hg in hydrochloric acid.
  • Alkyl halide in ether reactions with magnesium metals produces alkyl magnesium halide or Grignard reagents. The Grignard reagent treatment with water or dilute acid produces alkanes molecules.
  • The sodium salt of carboxylic acid and soda-lime uses for the production of alkanes.
  • A concentrated solution of the sodium or potassium salts of carboxylic acid or mixture or carboxylic acid electrolysis in presence of Pt electrode uses for the preparation of alkane or paraffin compounds in organic chemistry.

Parrafin Wax from Crude Petrolium

After the removal of volatile compounds from crude petroleum oil, the residue contains paraffinic or paraffin base. The low boiling hydrocarbons separate as an individual hydrocarbon like methane, ethane, propane, etc. After separating low boiling alkanes or alkenes, crude oil is fractionalized distillation to produce four main fractions like petrol (gasoline), kerosene (paraffin oil), gas oil (heavy oil), lubricating oil, paraffin wax, and asphaltic bitumen.

These chemically synthesized alkanes or paraffin wax used for the chemical preparation of candle, wax paper, polishes, cosmetics, electrical insulators, perfumes due to flowers smell, for a base in medical ointments, and supplies a waterproof coating for wood. In wood or paper matches, alkanes or paraffin wax helps to ignite the matchstick due to the presence of easily vaporized hydrocarbon fuel.