Alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes are similar in name but they are slightly different. Eventhough the use of them may overlaps in some cases, each of them is a compound on their own. Alkanes is hydrocarbon compound with one single bond. As for the alkenes, it has for the very least double bonds compared to alkanes single bond.
The rule goes to alkynes that has at least triple bond in its hydrocarbon structure. Even though they come from the same hydrocarbon compound, the different bond leads to different use in industry. There are several uses of alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes in industry.
Uses of Alkanes
There are several uses of alkanes
- Natural Gas
Alkanes is the main compound of methane or natural gas. Methane is also present in volcanic crust. Thus, this is why people able to cook fuelless in a crate of volcanic area due to methane as the source of the heat. Alkanes in methane is also widely used in industry especially in gas production. However, overexposure to methane is very deadly to human that can lead to poisoning. If it is the case, it can even cause death when someone inhales methane too much.
- Cooking Fuel
Propane that mostly used in cooking fuel is a derivation of alkanes. This chemical is natural fuel that able to produce heat for cooking. Propane generally is safer than methane and often found in gas cooking fuel as well as in a small portion of gasoline and matches. However, propane is also flammable therefore if someone keeps the substance it has to be in a safe, not easily broken, as well as labelled container. If not, it can spark fire just by a small ignition such as smoke residue or spark from burning items. When it is inside gas cooking fuel, the gas can be explosive and should be in intact and sealed condition.
- Automobile Fuel
The alkanes in the form of octane is the prime compound in automobile fuel specifically gasoline. There are several levels of gasoline and the higher the percentage of octane, the better the quality of the gasoline. It is because octane is in charge of tuning the fuel into energy that can turn on the machine on the vehicle. Higher octane leaves cleaner and less pollutant waste. That is why automobile fuel is more expensive when it has higher octane. Octane itself is a chemical of alkanes compound.
That’s the uses of alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes in industry. For more information about alkanes, read Interesting Facts about Alkanes.
There are several uses of alkenes
- Styrofoam Material
The double bond that differentiates between alkanes and alkenes helps in the production of styrofoam. It contributes to create foamy but light texture to the styrofoam. The connection between the atoms are slightly lose and therefore it makes styrofoam a light but flammable material.
Thus, styrofoam of alkenes compound is not recommended for closed space with no fire system suc as soundproof system. It is because the highly flammable material may spark fire and set the room in ablaze in just couple of minutes.
- Teflon Coating
Another use of alkenes in industry people can found in teflon. The coating in teflon has polytetrafluorethene in which it also has alkenes in its compound. The coating helps to prevent the teflon to get burned and get the steel damaged in fast time. Thus, it helps to preserve the teflon, the coating for the teflon bottom also helps to stabilize the fire. The coating surely is different from contemporary frying pan that gets burned mark easily compared to teflon.
- Artificial Ripening
The use of alkenes that common people may not know is as artificial ripening. The double bond in alkenes help to make the ripening process of fruits faster. Artificial ripening is laboratory processed additive to help farmers not to lose the unripe fruits during harvesting by letting the rest of the fruits ripe using artificial ripening. This chemical may come in liquid and used by spraying it to the fruit. In three days there usually signs of ripening on the fruit.
Related to: Chemicals Allowed in Organic Food
Uses of Alkynes
There are several uses of alkynes
- Welding Torch
One of industry that uses alkynes the most is in welding industry. The triple bonds in alkynes is really helpful to weld hard material such as steel and wire. Therefore, alkynes plays important role in welding industry especially in torches production. In torch production, alkylnes comes in the form of acetylene also known as ethyne. Acetylene works by bonding in the compound in welding process to physically merge two things without causing damage to the core compound of the material.
- Organic Solvent
Alkynes as pure compound is an organic solvent for organic chemicals. Some of the most useful compounds for industry are derivates of alkynes. Some of the derivation of alkynes are ethanal, acrylic acid, acetylene, and ethanoic acid. Because of the triple bonds it has, it is easy to solve other compounds using the basic alkynes and other compound to create industrially beneficial chemical. Hence, alkynes has many uses in industry and definitely are important ones.
- Starting Material
Alkynes is very important in the preparation of startingg material such as the highly used polymers. Some derivation of alkylenes work for starting materials in various compound. For instance, vinyl chloride that is alkynes derivation is starting material for PVC. Whereas another derivation of alkynes, clorophene, is a good starting material in the preparation of rubber neoprene.
Common Uses of Alkanes, Alkenes, and Alkynes
- Artificial Fruit Ripening
- Starter for Organic Compounds
- Flammable Material
- Fuel Producer
- Cleaners Material
By seeing as how crucial alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes in industry that are familiar to products in daily use, it marks the importance of these compounds in industry. Major compound all need them in production process. Surely, there are some side effects that may affect humans in the long run. But as it is for industrial use, the safety of its use should already stated in the operational standard of any factories and companies. That is all about uses of alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes in industry.