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A Comprehensive Review Of An Alkene

There are different classification of hydrocarbons that help in the production of things, there includes Alkanes, Alkenes, Alkynes, and Aromatic. For this review, we will be dwelling on one of these classes called Alkene. This review will give more insight into this unsaturated hydrocarbon and all that it entails. All the information you need to know about Alkenes will be provided in this review. So stay tone.

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What is an Alkene?

Image showing the alkene structural form
This Image Shows the Alkene Structure

Alkene otherwise called olefins is a class of hydrocarbon that contains only hydrogen and carbon atoms. It is an unsaturated hydrocarbon that has in its carbon-carbon double bond. Alkenes are said to be more reactive than other classes of hydrocarbon because of the presence of these double bonds.

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What are the first 10 Alkenes?

The following are the first 10 Alkenes that are well known. There include:

  • Ethane C2H4
  • Propane C3H6
  • Butene C3H6
  • Pentene C4H8
  • Hexane C6h12
  • Heptene C7H14
  • Octane C8H16
  • Nonene C9H18
  • Decene C10H20
  • Undecene C11H22

What is the Formula of Alkenes?

The popular formula for the Alkene is CnH2n. n here stands for the number of carbon atoms present in a molecule.

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Where are Alkenes Found?

An alkene is found in plastics, PVC, polyethylene, polyethylene etc as their raw materials but for Alkenes chemistry it can be found in beta-carotene, unsaturated fat and seeing light through vision.

What are the Uses of Alkenes?

Alkenes can be used for various applications in each sector, their uses include:

  • They are used as starting materials in the syntheses of alcohols
  • It is used in producing plastics
  • It’s a back up for raw material for fuels and detergents
  • It is useful for creating lacquers
  • It is used in the chemical industry as either propene or ethane.

Are Alkenes Toxic?

From the structure toxicity data discovered it has been discovered that the synaptosomal toxicity of the A,B-unsaturated derivatives NEM, MA, MVK, ACR acrolein are related to their common type -2 –conjugated alkene structure is non-conjugated aldehydes or alkenes and as such has no toxicity or causes toxic.

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Why are Alkenes not Used as Fuel?

Non-usage of Alkenes as fuel stems from the fact that they are scarce in nature. They are made more from other hydrocarbons to produce anti-freeze compounds, plastics, and other useful compounds. Another problem is that Alkene burn with the smoky flame which stems from less efficient and of course, issue of polluting incomplete combustion at the end the energy release is less than that of alkanes          

Are Alkenes Flammable?

Definitely, Alkene just like alkanes are flammable they react with oxygen in combustion reactions to readily burn to produce carbon dioxide and water when once the combustion is near completion. However, unlike alkanes, Alkenes are less likely to combust completely, so it rather burns in air with a smoky flame which stems from incomplete combustion.

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What are the Examples of Alkenes?

As earlier stated Alkenes have carbon-carbon double bonds and they are represented by the formula CnH2n. this means that the number of hydrogen atoms available is twice the number of carbon atoms available. Examples of Alkene are butane, ethane, and propane.

What are the Properties of Alkenes

Alkene has the following properties:

  • Alkenes are nonpolar
  • It is colorless
  • It is combustible
  • The physical state depends on molecular mass
  • Alkenes are unsaturated hydrocarbon
  • Alkenes are gasses at room temperature

Alkene Functional Group

Alkenes which are otherwise called olefins are organic compounds that come with hydrogen and carbon atoms with one or carbon-carbon double bonds in their chemical structure. It has functional groups and these side groups can be classified as any group of hydrogen and carbon atoms that are bonded together. So the function group in alkenes is a carbon-carbon double bond

Chemical Properties of Alkene

The chemical properties of Alkenes are:

  • Alkenes are more chemically reactive than other classes of hydrocarbon
  • This reaction is due to the fact that Alkenes are unsaturated hydrocarbons
  • They possess a double bond, C=C between two carbon atom
  • A lot of the chemical reactions of Alkene happen at the double bond.

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Properties of Alkenes and Alkynes

Below are properties of Alkenes and alkynes:

  • Alkenes are unsaturated hydrocarbon containing at least one carbon-carbon double bond while alkyne is an unsaturated hydrocarbon that contains one carbon-carbon triple bond that is between two carbon atoms
  • Both Alkenes and alkynes are mostly reactive than the other two classes of hydrocarbons, this is always due to their electron density which is available in pi bonds
  • They are both nonpolar and unsaturated hydrocarbons
  • Both Alkenes and alkynes have almost the same physical properties
  • Alkenes have slight solubility in polar solvents, dissolves in organic solvents and are insoluble in water and it has also slightly higher boiling points
  • The boiling points of alkenes depend more on the molecular mass, its boiling point is similar to that of alkane than alkynes
  • Alkynes that have a low ratio of hydrogen atoms to carbon atoms are really combustible.
  • Alkyne is used for making organic compounds like ethanoic acid, ethanol, and acrylic acid.

Characteristics of Alkene?

  • Alkene contains a carbon-carbon double bond
  • Alkene exist in three phases at room temperature which includes gases, solids, and liquids
  • Unlike trans isomers, Alkenes have lower melting points
  • Alkenes are unsaturated hydrocarbons because they have double bonds in their chemical structure.
  • Alkenes consist mainly of hydrogen and carbon
  • Examples of alkenes are propene, ethane, pentene, butane etc

How to Test for Alkenes

A substance can be tested for Alkene using bromine water. This simple test will indicate or tell the difference between alkenes and alkanes. The water will turn colorless with brown bromine water if it is an alkene. This will happen as the bromine reacts with the carbon-carbon double bond. This is always the reaction for all unsaturated compounds containing carbon-carbon double bonds.

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Benefits and Risks of Alkene

Everything comes with both sides of a coin. It has the benefits and the risks. We will be examining the benefits derived from using alkenes and the risks involve as well.

Benefits of Alkenes

  • The truth is that almost all plastic in a way is related to alkenes like polyethane, polythene is related to their alkene partners.
  • Plastics that come with Alkene are used to produce all kind of things which ranges from clothing, outdoor apparel, packaging and wrapping so give and take these sectors have benefited from Alkene through its final product being plastics.
  • The lower form of Alkenes is beneficial to the petroleum sector of an economy. The use of them as fuel and lubricants is of great benefits to the human. This is obtainable by cracking of petrol or petrol.
  • Alkenes are beneficial to the manufacturing sector as it is one of the raw materials for producing a wide range of polymers. They include PVC, Teflon, and polyvinyl chloride.
  • The industrial sectors have benefited from Alkene. Alkenes are also used as raw materials for producing industrial chemicals. This sector benefit from the aldehydes and alcohol produced from Alkene.
  • We still benefit from Alkene as a catalyst for artificial ripening of fruits, it is used as a general anesthetic and benefit from it being used to produce war gas (poisonous mustard gas and ethylene oxygen flame).

Risks of Alkene

Below are the risks involved with the use of Alkenes:

  • They are burned to form carbon soot, carbon dioxide, and water which isn’t healthy for human consumption.
  • They are just reactive than others

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Why are Alkene Called Olefins

Alkenes are as well known or called olefins because they form oily liquids on reaction with chlorine gas

Advantages and Disadvantages of Alkene

Alkenes come with its pros and cons, the following are the pros and cons of using alkene

Advantages (Pros) of Using Alkene

  • Alkene’s number of reactions that take place in the bonded area is overwhelming. The number is just staggering
  • The carbon to carbon double bond delivers the alkene with an electron-rich source for more reactions
  • They are great raw materials for different sectors
  • It plays a major role in biological and modern chemistry like the provision of beta-carotene that is an important part of the human diet and of course, a great source of vitamin A.
  • The synthesis reactions in organic chemistry emanate from the reaction of an alkene
  • Alkene produces the most industrially produced organic chemicals and is used in various productions.

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The Disadvantages (cons) of Using Alkene

  • Alkenes are not really used as fuel unlike alkanes
  • Alkenes are not considered clean fuels like others especially alkanes
  • It can’t be used for heating and cooking purpose unlike alkanes
  • Alkene has fewer hydrogen atoms
  • Alkenes are naturally scarce so using it as a primary form of fuel isn’t possible.
  • Alkene burn with a smoky flame so it less efficient to use as fuel


Here you have the complete review of alkene and what it entails. Despite the adverse effects of an alkene on man and its environment, the benefits derived from the use of alkene can’t be over-emphasized. Alkenes are of importance to the industrial and chemical industries. This unsaturated hydrocarbon with double bonds is inherently safe if it isn’t abused by humans.

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