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Is Benzene an Alkene?

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Is Benzene an Alkene? Benzene is an important industrial molecule that is used in the manufacture of many petrochemicals. In order to find out if benzene is an alkene, the structure and formula of the molecule must be looked at as well as how benzene reacts with other compounds. Benzene is a hydrocarbon that has the chemical formula C6H6. However the difference between benzene and most other organic molecules is the way that the carbon atoms bond with each other. Investigations have shown that the benzene molecule is a regular hexagon of carbon atoms and that all the carbon-carbon bonds are of equal length. ...read more.


The reason for this is because of the ring structure of benzene. The 6 carbon atoms are bonded to each other and to the hydrogen atoms by sigma bonds. In benzene another bond is formed by the side-to-side overlap of all six 2p atomic orbitals. This forms an orbital that spreads above and below the plane of the carbon atoms, creating a ring structure of electrons. The electrons in this ring are known as delocalised ? electrons because they are not found between any particular atoms pi bonds are 'delocalised'. Benzene undergoes substitution reactions and maintains its electron ring intact. If a molecule of benzene underwent addition reactions, then the ring of delocalised electrons would need to be broken and therefore require more energy. ...read more.


to give a diol product. This reaction involves both oxidation and addition to the double bond. However, benzene shows no reaction under the same conditions. Similarly hydrogen bromide reacts with cyclohexene to produce bromocyclohexane, whereas benzene does not react with hydrogen bromide. The reactions shown here and the explanation of the structure of the benzene molecule show that it is not an alkene. Benzene is one of the class of hydrocarbons known as arenes. Arenes are unsaturated hydrocarbons that have great stability and non-reactivity. It is this that distinguishes them from alkenes. All arenes contain a delocalised ? system of electrons in their benzene rings. This is why all arenes have similar chemical properties. Aromatic compounds are compounds that contain at least one benzene ring but can also contain a wide variety of other functional groups. ...read more.

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