Organic Chemistry/Alkanes/Ethane

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Ethane is the second simplest hydrocarbon molecule. It is pretty much just two methane molecules attached to each other, less two hydrogens.

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Number of hydrogens to carbons[edit]

This equation describes the relationship between the number of hydrogen and carbon atoms in alkanes:

H = 2C + 2

where "C" and "H" are used to represent the number of carbon and hydrogen atoms present in one molecule. If C = 2, then H = 6.

Many textbooks put this in the following format:

CNH2N+2

where "CN" and "H2N+2" represent the number of carbon and hydrogen atoms present in one molecule. If CN = 3, then H2N+2 = 2(3) + 2 = 8. (For this formula look to the "N" for the number, the "C" and the "H" letters themselves do not change.)


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