Reactive Group Datasheet
Hydrocarbons, Aliphatic Saturated
The lowest-molecular-weight compounds pose significant vapor cloud explosion hazards. Ethane, propane, and butane are gases that have been involved in many explosions. All aliphatic saturated hydrocarbons are combustible.
Materials in this group may be incompatible with strong oxidizing agents like nitric acid. Charring of the hydrocarbon may occur followed by ignition of unreacted hydrocarbon and other nearby combustibles. In other settings, aliphatic saturated hydrocarbons are mostly unreactive. They are not affected by aqueous solutions of acids, alkalis, most oxidizing agents, and most reducing agents. When heated sufficiently or when ignited in the presence of air, oxygen or strong oxidizing agents, they burn exothermically to produce carbon dioxide and water.
Compounds in this group have low toxicity. They act as asphyxiants.
Compounds in this group are characterized by straight or branched carbon chains with the generic formula C(n)H(2n+2), which means that the compound contains only single bonds between the carbon atoms and contain the maximum possible number of hydrogen atoms per carbon atom. If there is even one carbon-carbon double or triple bond present, then the compound is considered an unsaturated hydrocarbon (Group 28).
Saturated hydrocarbons are also known as alkanes or paraffins. Their physical form varies with increasing molecular weight from gaseous (methane) to solid. The solids are waxy and soft.
Propane, butane, pentane, cyclobutane, cycloheptane, hexane, cyclohexane, isopentane, cyclopentane, decane, dimethylpropane, ethane, heptane, isobutane, dodecane, isohexane, methane, isododecane.