Organic compounds are chemical compounds that contain carbon atoms bonded to hydrogen ones, along with other elements such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and halogens. These compounds are the basis of life and are found in all living organisms, as well as in fossil fuels and other natural resources.

Organic compounds can be classified into various groups based on their functional groups, which are specific arrangements of atoms that determine the compound’s chemical reactivity and properties.

1. Alkanes or paraffins consist solely of carbon and hydrogen atoms, with single bonds between the carbon atoms. They are also known as saturated hydrocarbons because they contain the maximum number of hydrogen atoms possible for the given number of carbon atoms.

Formula: CnH2n+2

Methane (CH4) is the simplest alkane with one carbon atom, while ethane (C2H6) has two carbon atoms. They are nonpolar molecules, meaning they do not have a positive or negative charge, which makes them effective at dissolving nonpolar compounds. These compounds are relatively unreactive due to the presence of only single bonds between carbon atoms. However, they can undergo combustion reactions with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water, releasing energy in the process. This makes them valuable as energy sources.

Alkanes are commonly found in fossil fuels such as natural gas, petroleum, and coal. They are used as fuels for heating, cooking, and transportation purposes. Methane, in particular, is a potent greenhouse gas and a major component of natural gas.

2. Unlike alkanes, alkenes contain at least one carbon-carbon double bond. This double bond gives alkenes a higher reactivity compared to alkanes.

Formula: CnH2n

Ethene (C2H4) is the simplest alkene with two carbon atoms. This type of compounds can undergo addition reactions, where atoms or groups of atoms add to the carbon-carbon double bond, resulting in the formation of new compounds. This reactivity makes alkenes useful in the production of a wide range of products, including pharmaceuticals, detergents, and synthetic fibers.

Unlike alkanes, they also undergo polymerization reactions, where multiple monomer units join together to form a larger polymer chain. This property is important in the production of synthetic materials such as rubber and plastic.

Alkenes are commonly found in plant oils and are produced during the process of fermentation. They are applied in various industries, such as plastics manufacturing, as starting materials for the synthesis of polymers. Ethene, for example, is used to produce polyethylene, which is one of the most widely used plastics.

3. Alkynes are a type of hydrocarbon compound that contain carbon-carbon triple bonds. They are unsaturated hydrocarbons.

Formula: CnH2n-2

The carbon-carbon triple bond in alkynes is formed by the overlap of one sp hybrid orbital from each carbon atom, along with two unhybridized p-orbitals. Alkynes can undergo addition reactions with various reagents, such as hydrogen, halogens, and water, to form new chemical bonds. The triple bond can be broken and replaced with new atoms or functional groups, allowing for the synthesis of a wide range of organic compounds.

Alkynes can be hydrogenated to form alkanes using hydrogen gas and a metal catalyst, such as palladium or platinum. They undergo halogenation reactions, like alkenes, by adding halogens, such as chlorine or bromine, across the carbon-carbon triple bond.