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Naming Simple Alkenes

Key Concepts

  • alkenes are hydrocarbons: made up of only carbon and hydrogen atoms

  • there is a double bond between 2 carbon atoms

  • general formula: CnH2n

  • name ends in "ene"

  • prefix determined by the number of carbon atoms in the chain:
eth C2
prop C3
but C4
pent C5
hex C6
hept C7
oct C8
non C9
dec C10

Animated Tutorial

Examples

Name no. C atoms
(n)
no. H atoms
(2 x n)
Formula Structure
ethene 2 2 x 2 = 4 C2H4
  H
|
  H
|
 
  C = C  
  |
H
  |
H
 

propene 3 2 x 3 = 6 C3H6
  H
|
      H
|
 
  C = C - C -H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
 

1-butene 4 2 x 4 = 8 C4H8
  H
|
      H
|
  H
|
 
  C = C - C - C -H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
 

1-pentene 5 2 x 5 = 10 C5H10
  H
|
      H
|
  H
|
  H
|
 
  C = C - C - C - C -H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
 

1-hexene 6 2 x 6 = 12 C6H12
  H
|
      H
|
  H
|
  H
|
  H
|
 
  C = C - C - C - C - C -H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
 

1-heptene 7 2 x 7 = 14 C7H14
  H
|
      H
|
  H
|
  H
|
  H
|
  H
|
 
  C = C - C - C - C - C - C -H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
 

1-octene 8 2 x 8 = 16 C8H16
  H
|
      H
|
  H
|
  H
|
  H
|
  H
|
  H
|
 
  C = C - C - C - C - C - C - C -H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
 

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