100 Nano-Stories: Naming Alkanes → My Personal Cheatsheet! 🤫
Episode #30: Explaining How To Name Alkanes Without Googling!
Preface! → ✨
It’s your favorite material science & nanotechnology enthusiast reporting back for another article! In the last article, I explained how to name cyclo-alkanes!
Briefly, cyclo-alkanes are carbon atoms that are connected in the form of a ring, and the carbon bonds are single-bonded (sharing two electrons between two atoms).
But to follow along, I highly recommend you to read this 4-minute article on the fundamentals of alkanes, since I will be talking about how to name alkanes without Googling up the terms!
100 Nano-Stories: How Do We Name Alkanes?
Episode# 28: Organic Chemistry For Aerogels Explained!
But for today’s topic, we will be discussing my personal cheatsheet on remembering the prefixes & suffixes of alkanes without Googling them on your next chemistry test or Material Science Interview!😉
Cheatsheet Time! 😤
An alkane is an organic compound that is only made out of carbon & hydrogen atoms, only single covalent bonds.
A single bond means there are only two electrons (or one pair) being shared between two atoms.
Now that we know the main terms, let’s bring up an example of an alkane!
If you notice the straight-chain alkane, it has very sharp points at the ends of the line and the top of the “hills” & “troughs”.
Each point is a carbon atom.
All the alkanes end with the suffix “ane”. The suffix “ane” means that all the alkanes are only single-bonded to one another.
But now, onto the prefixes of the alkanes! We will only go up to 10 carbons, reader!
- One point (One carbon) is called methane. The prefix for 1 carbon is “meth.”
- Two points (Two carbons) are called ethane. The prefix for 2 carbons is “eth.”
- Three points (Three carbons) is called propane. The prefix for 3 carbons is “pro.”
- Four points (Four carbons) are called butane. The prefix for 4 carbons is “but.”
- Five points (Five carbons) is called pentane. The prefix for 5 carbons is “pent.”
- Six points (Six carbons) is called hexane. The prefix for 6 carbons is “hex.”
- Seven points (Seven carbons) is called heptane. The prefix for 7 carbons is “hept”.
- Eight points (Eight carbons) is called octane. The prefix for 8 carbons is “oct.”
- Nine carbons (Nine carbons) are called nonane. The prefix for 9 carbons is “non.”
- Ten carbons (Ten carbons) is called a decane. The prefix for 10 carbons is “dec.”
Solving An Alkane! → 🎯
Now, if you notice the straight-chain alkane again, it has very sharp points at the ends of the line and the top of the “hills” & “troughs”. These points are actually carbon atoms! If we count all the points, there are 5 carbon atoms!
This is pentane because it has 5 points or 5 carbons in the straight-chain alkane.
Now let’s try another example! This straight-chain alkane has two endpoints & two sharp points. 2 endpoints + 2 sharp points = 4 points!
That means it’s a butane because a butane consists of 4 points or 4 carbons in the straight-chain alkane.
One more example, reader! What is the proper name for this alkane?
If we analyze the straight-chain alkane, we see two endpoints and 6 sharp points between the ends of the line. 2 endpoints + 6 sharp points = 8 points!
That means this straight-chained alkane is called an octane because an octane consists of 8 points or 8 carbons.
Closing Thoughts! → 💭
Whew! That was easy! Now you don’t have to Google up the answers during class!
However, I will need to talk to you for 3–4 minutes tomorrow on “butyl”. They are an organic chemistry student’s worst nightmare, and it’s better you know how to succeed in not falling into the same trap.
But for now, take a screenshot of this cheat sheet so that your teacher doesn't notice my article. . .🤫
Vocabulary! → 📓
Alkane → An organic compound that is only made out of carbon & hydrogen atoms, only single covalent bonds.
Single-bond → There are only two electrons (or one pair) being shared between two atoms.
Straight-Chain Alkane → The Carbon Atoms that connect the entire organic compound are connected with a continuous chain only without any “branches” (curved lines or crossed lines, etc.)
Previous “100 Nano-Stories!” → 🔖
© 2021 by Carlos Manuel Jarquin Sanchez. All Rights Reserved.