Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline within chemistry involving the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation of carbon-based compounds, hydrocarbons, and their derivatives...
, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound
An organic compound is any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon. For historical reasons discussed below, a few types of carbon-containing compounds such as carbides, carbonates, simple oxides of carbon, and cyanides, as well as the...
consisting entirely of hydrogen
Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. With an average atomic weight of , hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's chemical elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly...
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...
. Hydrocarbons from which one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional group
In organic chemistry, functional groups are specific groups of atoms within molecules that are responsible for the characteristic chemical reactions of those molecules. The same functional group will undergo the same or similar chemical reaction regardless of the size of the molecule it is a part of...
s, called hydrocarbyls.
An aromatic hydrocarbon or arene is a hydrocarbon with alternating double and single bonds between carbon atoms. The term 'aromatic' was assigned before the physical mechanism determining aromaticity was discovered, and was derived from the fact that many of the compounds have a sweet scent...
s (arenes), alkane
Alkanes are chemical compounds that consist only of hydrogen and carbon atoms and are bonded exclusively by single bonds without any cycles...
In organic chemistry, an alkene, olefin, or olefine is an unsaturated chemical compound containing at least one carbon-to-carbon double bond...
Cycloalkanes are types of alkanes that have one or more rings of carbon atoms in the chemical structure of their molecules. Alkanes are types of organic hydrocarbon compounds that have only single chemical bonds in their chemical structure...
s and alkyne
Alkynes are hydrocarbons that have a triple bond between two carbon atoms, with the formula CnH2n-2. Alkynes are traditionally known as acetylenes, although the name acetylene also refers specifically to C2H2, known formally as ethyne using IUPAC nomenclature...
-based compounds are different types of hydrocarbons.
The majority of hydrocarbons found naturally occur in crude oil, where decomposed organic matter provides an abundance of carbon and hydrogen which, when bonded, can catenate
Catenation is the ability of a chemical element to form a long chain-like structure via a series of covalent bonds. Catenation occurs most readily in carbon, which forms covalent bonds with other carbon atoms. Catenation is the reason for the presence of a large number of organic compounds in nature...
to form seemingly limitless chains.
The classifications for hydrocarbons defined by IUPAC nomenclature of organic chemistry
IUPAC nomenclature of organic chemistry
The IUPAC nomenclature of organic chemistry is a systematic method of naming organic chemical compounds as recommended by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry . Ideally, every possible organic compound should have a name from which an unambiguous structural formula can be drawn. ...
are as follows:
- Saturated hydrocarbons (alkaneAlkaneAlkanes are chemical compounds that consist only of hydrogen and carbon atoms and are bonded exclusively by single bonds without any cycles...
s) are the simplest of the hydrocarbon species and are composed entirely of single bonds and are saturated with hydrogen.