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What is Hydrocarbon

Ball-and-stick model of the methane molecule, CH4. Methane is a part of a homologous collection known as the alkanes, which include unmarried bonds handiest.
In natural chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an natural compound consisting absolutely of hydrogen and carbon:620 and accordingly are group 14 hydrides. Hydrocarbons, from which one hydrogen atom has been removed, are practical agencies referred to as hydrocarbyls.Because carbon has 4 electrons in its outermost shell (and due to the fact every covalent bond requires a donation of 1 electron, in line with atom, to the bond) carbon has precisely four bonds to make, and is only strong if all four of those bonds are used.

Aromatic hydrocarbons (arenes), alkanes, cycloalkanes and alkyne-based compounds are exceptional styles of hydrocarbons.

Types of Hydrocarbons

As described by means of IUPAC nomenclature of organic chemistry, the classifications for hydrocarbons are:

Saturated hydrocarbons are the only of the hydrocarbon species. They are composed totally of single bonds and are saturated with hydrogen. The formulation for acyclic saturated hydrocarbons (i.E., alkanes) is CnH2n+2.[1]:623 The most fashionable form of saturated hydrocarbons is CnH2n+2(1-r), wherein r is the quantity of jewelry. Those with precisely one ring are the cycloalkanes. Saturated hydrocarbons are the idea of petroleum fuels and are determined as both linear or branched species. Substitution reaction is their traits belongings (like chlorination reaction to shape chloroform). Hydrocarbons with the equal molecular components however extraordinary structural formulae are referred to as structural isomers.:625 As given in the instance of three-methylhexane and its higher homologues, branched hydrocarbons may be chiral.:627 Chiral saturated hydrocarbons represent the facet chains of biomolecules which include chlorophyll and tocopherol.[5]

Unsaturated hydrocarbons have one or more double or triple bonds between carbon atoms. Those with double bond are referred to as alkenes. Those with one double bond have the method CnH2n (assuming non-cyclic structures).[1]:628 Those containing triple bonds are known as alkyne. Those with one triple bond have the formula CnH2n−2.:631

Aromatic hydrocarbons, also called arenes, are hydrocarbons that have at least one aromatic ring.
Hydrocarbons may be gases (e.G. Methane and propane), liquids (e.G. Hexane and benzene), waxes or low melting solids (e.G. Paraffin wax and naphthalene) or polymers (e.G. Polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene).


Hydrocarbons are a primary energy supply for current civilizations. The major use of hydrocarbons is as a combustible gasoline source. In their solid shape, hydrocarbons take the form of asphalt.

Mixtures of volatile hydrocarbons are now used in desire to the chlorofluorocarbons as a propellant for aerosol sprays, because of chlorofluorocarbons’ effect on the ozone layer.

Methane (CH4) and ethane (C2H6) are gaseous at ambient temperatures and cannot be effortlessly liquefied by means of strain alone. Propane (C3H8) is however easily liquefied, and exists in ‘propane bottles’ in most cases as a liquid. Butane (C4H10) is so easily liquefied that it affords a safe, volatile gas for small pocket lighters. Pentane (C5H12) is a clear liquid at room temperature, normally utilized in chemistry and industry as a effective almost odorless solvent of waxes and high molecular weight organic compounds, together with greases. Hexane (C6H14) is also a broadly used non-polar, non-aromatic solvent, in addition to a great fraction of commonplace gasoline. The C6 through C10 alkanes, alkenes and isomeric cycloalkanes are the top components of fuel, naphtha, jet gasoline and specialized commercial solvent combinations. With the progressive addition of carbon gadgets, the easy non-ring dependent hydrocarbons have higher viscosities, lubricating indices, boiling points, solidification temperatures, and deeper colour. At the opposite severe from methane lie the heavy tars that remain as the lowest fraction in a crude oil refining retort. They are collected and widely applied as roofing compounds, pavement composition, wooden preservatives (the creosote series) and as extraordinarily excessive viscosity shear-resisting beverages.


Extracted hydrocarbons in a liquid form are referred to as petroleum (actually “rock oil”) or mineral oil, while hydrocarbons in a gaseous form are called herbal fuel. Petroleum and natural gasoline are observed inside the Earth’s subsurface with the gear of petroleum geology and are a considerable supply of gasoline and uncooked materials for the production of natural chemicals.

The extraction of liquid hydrocarbon fuel from sedimentary basins is quintessential to fashionable electricity improvement. Hydrocarbons are mined from oil sands and oil shale, and probably extracted from sedimentary methane hydrates. These reserves require distillation and upgrading to provide synthetic crude and petroleum.

Oil reserves in sedimentary rocks are the source of hydrocarbons for the power, shipping and petrochemical industries.

Economically vital hydrocarbons encompass fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas, and its derivatives such as plastics, paraffin, waxes, solvents and oils. Hydrocarbons – at the side of NOx and daylight – make contributions to the formation of tropospheric ozone and greenhouse gases.


Bacteria in the gabbroic layer of the sea’s crust can degrade hydrocarbons; however the excessive surroundings makes studies tough.[11] Other bacteria together with Lutibacterium anuloederans can also degrade hydrocarbons.[12] Mycoremediation or breaking down of hydrocarbon by means of mycelium and mushroom is viable.[13]


Many hydrocarbons are exceedingly flammable, therefore, care must be taken to save you harm. Benzene and plenty of aromatic compounds are possible cancer agents, and proper protection equipment have to be worn to save you these dangerous compounds from getting into the body. If hydrocarbons undergo combustion in tight areas, toxic carbon monoxide can shape. Hydrocarbons have to be kept away from fluorine compounds due to the high probability of forming poisonous hydrofluoric acid.

Environmental effect

Hydrocarbons are added into the environment through their good sized use as fuels and chemicals in addition to thru leaks or unintended spills in the course of exploration, production, refining, or transport. Anthropogenic hydrocarbon infection of soil is a serious global problem due to contaminant staying power and the terrible effect on human health.