Organic Chemistry

Structures and Nomenclature

What are hydrocarbons, and how many different ones are there?

Hydrocarbons, as you might have figured out from the name, are molecules that contain only hydrogen and carbon atoms. There are literally an infinite number of ways to arrange these two elements together, especially if you include polymers (see “Polymer Chemistry”). Hydrocarbons are important molecules. Different sizes and types of hydrocarbons are known as natural gas, gasoline, waxes (like candles), and plastics.


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