Propylene
Overview
 
Propene, also known as propylene or methylethylene, is an unsaturated
Unsaturated compound
In organic chemistry, a saturated compound is a chemical compound that has of a chain of carbon atoms linked together by single bonds and has hydrogen atoms filling all of the other bonding orbitals of the carbon atoms. Alkanes are an example of saturated compounds...

 organic compound
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...

 having the chemical formula
Chemical formula
A chemical formula or molecular formula is a way of expressing information about the atoms that constitute a particular chemical compound....

 C
Carbon
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...

3H
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...

6. It has one double bond
Covalent bond
A covalent bond is a form of chemical bonding that is characterized by the sharing of pairs of electrons between atoms. The stable balance of attractive and repulsive forces between atoms when they share electrons is known as covalent bonding....

, and is the second simplest member of the alkene
Alkene
In organic chemistry, an alkene, olefin, or olefine is an unsaturated chemical compound containing at least one carbon-to-carbon double bond...

 class of hydrocarbon
Hydrocarbon
In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons from which one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional groups, called hydrocarbyls....

s, and it is also second in natural abundance.
At room temperature
Room temperature
-Comfort levels:The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers has listings for suggested temperatures and air flow rates in different types of buildings and different environmental circumstances. For example, a single office in a building has an occupancy ratio per...

 and atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure is the force per unit area exerted into a surface by the weight of air above that surface in the atmosphere of Earth . In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of air above the measurement point...

, propene is a gas, and as with many other alkene
Alkene
In organic chemistry, an alkene, olefin, or olefine is an unsaturated chemical compound containing at least one carbon-to-carbon double bond...

s, it is also colourless with a weak but unpleasant smell.

Propene has a higher density and boiling point than ethylene
Ethylene
Ethylene is a gaseous organic compound with the formula . It is the simplest alkene . Because it contains a carbon-carbon double bond, ethylene is classified as an unsaturated hydrocarbon. Ethylene is widely used in industry and is also a plant hormone...

 due to its greater mass.
Encyclopedia
Propene, also known as propylene or methylethylene, is an unsaturated
Unsaturated compound
In organic chemistry, a saturated compound is a chemical compound that has of a chain of carbon atoms linked together by single bonds and has hydrogen atoms filling all of the other bonding orbitals of the carbon atoms. Alkanes are an example of saturated compounds...

 organic compound
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...

 having the chemical formula
Chemical formula
A chemical formula or molecular formula is a way of expressing information about the atoms that constitute a particular chemical compound....

 C
Carbon
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...

3H
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...

6. It has one double bond
Covalent bond
A covalent bond is a form of chemical bonding that is characterized by the sharing of pairs of electrons between atoms. The stable balance of attractive and repulsive forces between atoms when they share electrons is known as covalent bonding....

, and is the second simplest member of the alkene
Alkene
In organic chemistry, an alkene, olefin, or olefine is an unsaturated chemical compound containing at least one carbon-to-carbon double bond...

 class of hydrocarbon
Hydrocarbon
In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons from which one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional groups, called hydrocarbyls....

s, and it is also second in natural abundance.

Properties

At room temperature
Room temperature
-Comfort levels:The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers has listings for suggested temperatures and air flow rates in different types of buildings and different environmental circumstances. For example, a single office in a building has an occupancy ratio per...

 and atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure is the force per unit area exerted into a surface by the weight of air above that surface in the atmosphere of Earth . In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of air above the measurement point...

, propene is a gas, and as with many other alkene
Alkene
In organic chemistry, an alkene, olefin, or olefine is an unsaturated chemical compound containing at least one carbon-to-carbon double bond...

s, it is also colourless with a weak but unpleasant smell.

Propene has a higher density and boiling point than ethylene
Ethylene
Ethylene is a gaseous organic compound with the formula . It is the simplest alkene . Because it contains a carbon-carbon double bond, ethylene is classified as an unsaturated hydrocarbon. Ethylene is widely used in industry and is also a plant hormone...

 due to its greater mass. It has a slightly lower boiling point than propane and is thus more volatile
Volatility (chemistry)
In chemistry and physics, volatility is the tendency of a substance to vaporize. Volatility is directly related to a substance's vapor pressure. At a given temperature, a substance with higher vapor pressure vaporizes more readily than a substance with a lower vapor pressure.The term is primarily...

. It lacks strongly polar bond
Polar bond
In chemistry, a polar bond is a type of covalent bond between two atoms or more in which electrons are shared unequally. Because of this, one end of the molecule has a slight, relative negative charge and the other a slight, relative positive charge...

s, yet the molecule has a small dipole moment
Bond dipole moment
The bond dipole moment uses the idea of electric dipole moment to measure the polarity of a chemical bond within a molecule. The bond dipole μ is given by:\mu = \delta \, d....

 due to its reduced symmetry (its point group
Point group
In geometry, a point group is a group of geometric symmetries that keep at least one point fixed. Point groups can exist in a Euclidean space with any dimension, and every point group in dimension d is a subgroup of the orthogonal group O...

 is Cs
Point groups in three dimensions
In geometry, a point group in three dimensions is an isometry group in three dimensions that leaves the origin fixed, or correspondingly, an isometry group of a sphere. It is a subgroup of the orthogonal group O, the group of all isometries that leave the origin fixed, or correspondingly, the group...

).

Propene has the same empirical formula as cyclopropane
Cyclopropane
Cyclopropane is a cycloalkane molecule with the molecular formula C3H6, consisting of three carbon atoms linked to each other to form a ring, with each carbon atom bearing two hydrogen atoms...

 but their atoms are connected in different ways, making these molecules structural isomers.

Production

Propene is produced from fossil fuels—petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

, natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

, and, to a much lesser extent, coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

. Propene is a byproduct of oil refining and natural gas processing
Natural gas processing
Natural-gas processing is a complex industrial process designed to clean raw natural gas by separating impurities and various non-methane hydrocarbons and fluids to produce what is known as pipeline quality dry natural gas.-Background:...

. During oil refining, ethylene
Ethylene
Ethylene is a gaseous organic compound with the formula . It is the simplest alkene . Because it contains a carbon-carbon double bond, ethylene is classified as an unsaturated hydrocarbon. Ethylene is widely used in industry and is also a plant hormone...

, propene, and other compounds are produced by as a result of cracking
Cracking (chemistry)
In petroleum geology and chemistry, cracking is the process whereby complex organic molecules such as kerogens or heavy hydrocarbons are broken down into simpler molecules such as light hydrocarbons, by the breaking of carbon-carbon bonds in the precursors. The rate of cracking and the end products...

 larger hydrocarbon molecules to produce hydrocarbons more in demand. A major source of propene is cracking intended to produce ethylene, but it also results from refinery cracking producing other products. Propene can be separated by fractional distillation
Fractional distillation
Fractional distillation is the separation of a mixture into its component parts, or fractions, such as in separating chemical compounds by their boiling point by heating them to a temperature at which several fractions of the compound will evaporate. It is a special type of distillation...

 from hydrocarbon mixtures obtained from cracking and other refining processes; refinery-grade propene is about 50 to 70%.

Another important petrochemical source of propene is propane
Propane
Propane is a three-carbon alkane with the molecular formula , normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, it is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, portable stoves, and residential central...

 dehydrogenation
Dehydrogenation
Dehydrogenation is a chemical reaction that involves the elimination of hydrogen . It is the reverse process of hydrogenation. Dehydrogenation reactions may be either large scale industrial processes or smaller scale laboratory procedures....

. This route is popular in regions, such as the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, where there is an abundance of propane
Propane
Propane is a three-carbon alkane with the molecular formula , normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, it is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, portable stoves, and residential central...

 from oil/gas operations. Less common propene sources are the Fischer-Tropsch process, metathesis
Metathesis
Metathesis may refer to:* Metathesis , in phonology, a sound change that alters the order of phonemes in a word...

 of ethylene
Ethylene
Ethylene is a gaseous organic compound with the formula . It is the simplest alkene . Because it contains a carbon-carbon double bond, ethylene is classified as an unsaturated hydrocarbon. Ethylene is widely used in industry and is also a plant hormone...

 or an ethylene/butene mixture, and catalytic conversion of methanol
Methanol
Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, wood naphtha or wood spirits, is a chemical with the formula CH3OH . It is the simplest alcohol, and is a light, volatile, colorless, flammable liquid with a distinctive odor very similar to, but slightly sweeter than, ethanol...

.

Propene production has remained static at around 35 million tonnes (Europe and North America only) from 2000 to 2008, but it has been increasing in East Asia, most notably Singapore and China. Total world production of propene is currently about half that of ethylene.

Uses

Propene is the second most important starting product in the petrochemical industry after ethylene. It is the raw material for a wide variety of products. Manufacturers of the plastic polypropylene
Polypropylene
Polypropylene , also known as polypropene, is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications including packaging, textiles , stationery, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers, automotive components, and polymer banknotes...

 account for nearly two thirds of all demand. Polypropylene is, for example, needed for the production of films, packaging, caps and closures as well as for other applications. In the year 2008 the worldwide sales of propene reached a value of over 90 billion US dollars.
Propene and benzene
Benzene
Benzene is an organic chemical compound. It is composed of 6 carbon atoms in a ring, with 1 hydrogen atom attached to each carbon atom, with the molecular formula C6H6....

 are converted to acetone
Acetone
Acetone is the organic compound with the formula 2CO, a colorless, mobile, flammable liquid, the simplest example of the ketones.Acetone is miscible with water and serves as an important solvent in its own right, typically as the solvent of choice for cleaning purposes in the laboratory...

 and phenol
Phenol
Phenol, also known as carbolic acid, phenic acid, is an organic compound with the chemical formula C6H5OH. It is a white crystalline solid. The molecule consists of a phenyl , bonded to a hydroxyl group. It is produced on a large scale as a precursor to many materials and useful compounds...

 via the cumene process
Cumene process
The Cumene process is an industrial process for developing phenol and acetone from benzene and propylene. The term stems from cumene , the intermediate material during the process. It was invented by Heinrich Hock in 1944 and independently by R. Ūdris and P...

. Propene is also used to produce isopropanol (propan-2-ol), acrylonitrile
Acrylonitrile
Acrylonitrile is the chemical compound with the formula C3H3N. This pungent-smelling colorless liquid often appears yellow due to impurities. It is an important monomer for the manufacture of useful plastics. In terms of its molecular structure, it consists of a vinyl group linked to a nitrile...

, propylene oxide
Propylene oxide
Propylene oxide is an organic compound with the molecular formula CH3CHCH2O. This colourless volatile liquid is produced on a large scale industrially, its major application being its use for the production of polyether polyols for use in making polyurethane plastics...

 (epoxypropane) and epichlorohydrin
Epichlorohydrin
Epichlorohydrin is an organochlorine compound and an epoxide. This is a colorless liquid with a pungent, garlic-like odor, moderately soluble in water, but miscible with most polar organic solvents. Epichlorohydrin is a highly reactive compound and is used in the production of glycerol, plastics,...

.

Reactions

Propene resembles other alkenes in that it undergoes addition
Electrophilic addition
In organic chemistry, an electrophilic addition reaction is an addition reaction where, in a chemical compound, a π bond is broken and two new σ bonds are formed...

 reactions relatively easily at room temperature. The relative weakness of its double bond (which is less strong than two single bonds) explains its tendency to react with substances that can achieve this transformation. Alkene reactions include: 1) polymerization
Polymerization
In polymer chemistry, polymerization is a process of reacting monomer molecules together in a chemical reaction to form three-dimensional networks or polymer chains...

, 2) oxidation, 3) halogenation
Halogenation
Halogenation is a chemical reaction that incorporates a halogen atom into a molecule in substitution of hydrogen atom. Halogenation takes place in the gas phase. There are four types of halogenation: fluorination, chlorination, bromination, and iodination...

 and hydrohalogenation
Hydrohalogenation
A hydrohalogenation reaction is the electrophilic addition of hydrohalic acids like hydrogen chloride or hydrogen bromide to alkenes to yield the corresponding haloalkanes....

, 4) alkylation
Alkylation
Alkylation is the transfer of an alkyl group from one molecule to another. The alkyl group may be transferred as an alkyl carbocation, a free radical, a carbanion or a carbene . Alkylating agents are widely used in chemistry because the alkyl group is probably the most common group encountered in...

, 5) hydration
Hydration reaction
In organic chemistry, a hydration reaction is a chemical reaction in which a hydroxyl group and a hydrogen cation are added to the two carbon atoms bonded together in the carbon-carbon double bond which makes up an alkene functional group. The reaction usually runs in a strong acidic, aqueous...

, 6) oligomerization, and 7) hydroformylation
Hydroformylation
Hydroformylation, also known as oxo synthesis or oxo process, is an important industrial process for the production of aldehydes from alkenes. This chemical reaction entails the addition of a formyl group and a hydrogen atom to a carbon-carbon double bond...

.

Environmental Safety

Propene is produced naturally by vegetation, particularly certain tree species. It is also a product of combustion, from forest fires and cigarette smoke to motor vehicle and aircraft exhaust. It is an impurity in some heating gases. Observed concentrations have been in the range of 0.1-4.8 parts per billion (ppb
PPB
PPB can stand for:* Party political broadcast, a type of political programming in the United Kingdom* parts-per-billion, a unit of concentration* Portland Police Bureau, a police agency for the city of Portland...

) in rural air, 4-10.5 ppb in urban air, and 7-260 ppb in industrial air samples.

In the United States and some European countries a Threshold Limit Value
Threshold Limit Value
The threshold limit value of a chemical substance is a level to which it is believed a worker can be exposed day after day for a working lifetime without adverse health effects. Strictly speaking, TLV is a reserved term of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists...

 of 500 parts per million (ppm
PPM
- Culture :*Peter, Paul and Mary, a 1960s folk music trio*Picture Postcard Monthly, a magazine for collectors of postcards*Please Please Me, the first album by The Beatles- Health :*Permanent pacemaker or artificial pacemaker...

) was established for occupational (8-hour time-weighted average
Permissible Exposure Limit
The permissible exposure limit is a legal limit in the United States for exposure of an employee to a chemical substance or physical agent. For chemicals, the chemical regulation is usually expressed in parts per million , or sometimes in milligrams per cubic metre . Units of measure for physical...

) exposure. It is considered a volatile organic compound
Volatile organic compound
Volatile organic compounds are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary, room-temperature conditions. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and...

 (VOC) and emissions are regulated by many governments, but it is not listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a hazardous air pollutant under the Clean Air Act
Clean Air Act
A Clean Air Act is one of a number of pieces of legislation relating to the reduction of airborne contaminants, smog and air pollution in general. The use by governments to enforce clean air standards has contributed to an improvement in human health and longer life spans...

.

It has a relatively short half-life in the atmosphere, and is not expected to bioaccumulate, based on a calculated bioconcentration factor of 13.18 using a log K value of 1.77.

Propene has low acute toxicity from inhalation. Inhalation of the gas can cause anesthetic effects and at very high concentrations, unconsciousness. However, the asphyxiation limit for humans is about 10 times higher (23%) than the lower flammability level.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK