Difference Between Saturated Hydrocarbons and Unsaturated Hydrocarbons

Main difference

The main difference between saturated hydrocarbons and unsaturated hydrocarbons is that saturated hydrocarbons are the hydrocarbons that contain a single covalent bond in the carbon chain while unsaturated hydrocarbons are the hydrocarbons that contain double or triple bonds in the carbon chain. principal …

Saturated Hydrocarbons vs. Unsaturated Hydrocarbons

Saturated hydrocarbons are the hydrocarbons that contain only a single bond in the carbon chain while unsaturated hydrocarbons are the hydrocarbons that contain double or triple bonds in the main carbon chain. Saturated hydrocarbons are always an example of alkanes, while unsaturated hydrocarbons always have an example of just alkenes and alkynes. Saturated hydrocarbons are much less reactive than unsaturated hydrocarbons, while unsaturated hydrocarbons are more reactive than saturated hydrocarbons. Saturated hydrocarbons produce a blue, sooty flame when burned in air, while unsaturated hydrocarbons produce a yellow, sooty flame when burned in air. Saturated hydrocarbons have less amount of carbon compared to hydrogen while unsaturated hydrocarbons have high amount of carbon compared to hydrogen. Saturated hydrocarbons are generally obtained from fossilized animals and plants, while unsaturated hydrocarbons are generally obtained from plant materials. Saturated hydrocarbons can undergo substitution reactions, while unsaturated hydrocarbons can undergo addition reactions. Saturated hydrocarbons have a large amount of hydrogen, while unsaturated hydrocarbons have a smaller amount of hydrogen. Saturated hydrocarbons are an example of a cycloalkane, while unsaturated hydrocarbons are always an example of a cycloalkene. Saturated hydrocarbons have a free radicle mechanism, while unsaturated hydrocarbons have an electrophilic addition reaction. Saturated hydrocarbons have only sigma bonds, while unsaturated hydrocarbons have both sigma and pi bonds.

Comparison chart

saturated hydrocarbons unsaturated hydrocarbons
Saturated hydrocarbons are the types of hydrocarbons that do not contain unsaturation in the carbon chain. Unsaturated hydrocarbons are hydrocarbons that contain double or triple bonds in the carbon backbone.
Reactivity
less reactive more reactive
number of bonds
just a simple link double or triple bond
Class
Includes alkanes Includes alkenes or alkynes
favorable reactions
Free radicle mechanism Electrophilic addition reactions
carbon number
lower amount of carbon The large amount of carbon
hydrogen number
The large amount of hydrogen less amount of hydrogen
burned air
Produces a blue, soot-free flame. Produces yellow flame and soot.
Sources
It is obtained from animal and plant fossils. It is taken from plant materials.

What are saturated hydrocarbons?

Saturated hydrocarbons are hydrocarbons that have a single bond in the carbon backbone. Saturated hydrocarbons are less reactive as they have no free electrons. The number of hydrogens is very low in saturated hydrocarbon alkanes, while the number of carbons is high in saturated hydrocarbon alkanes. Alkanes are often called the best example of saturated hydrocarbons. In air, it produces a blue, sootless flame as a result of combustion. The sources of saturated hydrocarbons are fossil materials from plants and animals. It does not contain multiple bonds such as double or triple covalent bond. In it, the four valences of carbon are satisfied by the only one with the hydrogen atom. Saturated hydrocarbons are mainly called simple hydrocarbons. Saturated hydrocarbons are less polar or nonpolar organic compounds. Saturated hydrocarbons always oppose addition reactions such as oxidative addition, hydrogenation, and Lewis base bonding. The term saturation is taken from the Latin word ‘saturar’ meaning ‘to fill’. Saturated hydrocarbons always contain a sigma bond that is much stronger than the pi bond. That is why it is less reactive. The electronegativity of carbon and hydrogen is almost similar. So the electronegativity difference is very negligible. That is why hydrocarbons are not polar. Saturated hydrocarbons are insoluble in polar solvents like water, etc. That is why it is less reactive. The electronegativity of carbon and hydrogen is almost similar. Then, the difference in electronegativity is very insignificant. That is why hydrocarbons are not polar. Saturated hydrocarbons are insoluble in polar solvents like water, etc. That is why it is less reactive. The electronegativity of carbon and hydrogen is almost similar. So the electronegativity difference is very negligible. That is why hydrocarbons are not polar. Saturated hydrocarbons are insoluble in polar solvents like water, etc.

Example

Methane, propane, ethane, etc.

What are unsaturated hydrocarbons?

Unsaturated hydrocarbons are the type of hydrocarbons that have unsaturation in the form of multiple covalent bonds, such as triple or double bonds. Unsaturated hydrocarbons are very reactive as they have free electrons. The amount of hydrogen is very less while the amount of carbon is high. Alkenes and alkynes are the best examples of unsaturated hydrocarbons. In air, it produces a yellow flame and soot as a result of burning. The best and main sources of unsaturated hydrocarbons are plant materials. Its name already indicates that it has double or triple bonds in the main carbon chain. In it, the four carbon valences are not fully satisfied and form a double or triple bond with the other atom in the chain. Unsaturated hydrocarbons are polar and soluble in water due to the presence of unsaturation in the compound. They are not simple hydrocarbons. Contains sigma and pi bonds. Because of that, it can easily undergo addition reactions such as oxidative addition, hydrogenation, and Lewis base bonding. Unsaturated hydrocarbons are very useful for the formation of other organic compounds, and it is also very useful for the formation of the respective saturated hydrocarbons. The structure of unsaturated hydrocarbons is linear, branched and cyclic. Cycloalkenes, the cyclic structure of unsaturated hydrocarbons, are also included in unsaturated hydrocarbons. and it is also very useful for the formation of the respective saturated hydrocarbons. The structure of unsaturated hydrocarbons is linear, branched and cyclic. Cycloalkenes, the cyclic structure of unsaturated hydrocarbons, are also included in unsaturated hydrocarbons. and it is also very useful for the formation of the respective saturated hydrocarbons. The structure of unsaturated hydrocarbons is linear, branched and cyclic. Cycloalkenes, the cyclic structure of unsaturated hydrocarbons, are also included in unsaturated hydrocarbons.

Example

Ethene, Propene, Butene and Cyclohexene, etc.

Key differences

  1. Saturated hydrocarbons are the hydrocarbons that have only a single bond in the main carbon chain while unsaturated hydrocarbons are the hydrocarbons that have multiple bonds such as double and triple bond.
  2. Saturated hydrocarbons are very less reactive, while unsaturated hydrocarbons are very reactive.
  3. Saturated hydrocarbons produce a blue, sooty flame, while unsaturated hydrocarbons produce a yellow, sooty flame.
  4. Saturated hydrocarbons are obtained from animal and plant fossils, while unsaturated hydrocarbons are obtained from plant materials.
  5. Saturated hydrocarbons have a large number of hydrogens while unsaturated hydrocarbons have a large number of hydrogens.
  6. Saturated hydrocarbons have a very small number of carbons, while unsaturated hydrocarbons have a large number of carbons.

Final Thought

The above discussion concludes that both saturated hydrocarbons and unsaturated hydrocarbons are types of hydrocarbons. Saturated hydrocarbons are the hydrocarbons that have only one single bond in the main carbon chain while unsaturated hydrocarbons are the hydrocarbons that have multiple bonds like double and triple bond. Saturated hydrocarbons also include alkanes, while unsaturated hydrocarbons also include both alkenes and alkynes.

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