Structure and Bonding in Alkanes

Hydrocarbons are compounds of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons that contain only single bonds are called alkanes. The simplest alkane is methane, CH4; the next is ethane, C2H6 and the third member is propane, C3H8.

In alkanes the bonded carbon atoms are described as sp3 hybridized, forming single bonds to hydrogen or adjacent carbon atoms. A formal system of nomenclature and representation has been developed to describe the millions of possible organic compounds and in this module you will apply these rules to alkanes and some related compounds.