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Basic concepts in Alkanes, Cycloalkanes and Functional Groups:




The organic compounds that are composed of C and H mainly are called hydrocarbons. These compounds may have other atoms like O, S, N along with C and H atoms. 

Functional groups 

The atom or group of atoms that is responsible for certain physical and chemical properties is called a functional group in organic chemistry. The presence of functional groups added unique characteristics in the chemical compound. Some common examples of functional groups are -COOH, -OH, -Cl, >C=O etc. The IUPAC name of organic compounds can be written with the help of a functional group chart.  


Alkanes are the simplest hydrocarbons composed of C and H atoms. They have C-C in the molecule. Here all the C atoms are bonded with a single covalent bond with each other. The general alkane formula is  general alkane formula; here n = 1,2,3….


Cycloalkanes are saturated cyclic organic compounds with general formula as saturated cyclic organic compounds with general formula . The smallest cycloalkane is cyclopropane with 3 C atoms bonded with each other to form a cyclic structure.  

Physical properties of alkane 

Alkanes usually exist in gaseous state due to weak Van Der Waal interactions between molecules. In the absence of any polar atom, they do not have any strong intermolecular interaction between molecules. That is the reason they have lower melting point and boiling point compared to other hydrocarbons like alcohols. 

Solubility of alkanes 

Due to non-polar nature, they are soluble in non-polar solvents. They are colorless, odorless compounds with lesser density compared to water.  

Combustion of alkane 

Alkanes have high content of C atoms therefore they are combustible and burn with sooty flame. The combustion of alkanes results in the formation of carbon dioxide and water molecules.  

Physical properties of cycloalkane 

They have almost the same physical properties like alkane but they have higher melting and boiling points. That is due to stronger Van Der Waal interactions between molecules. Cyclohexane is considered as the most stable cycloalkane.  

Chemical properties of alkane 

In alkanes, all C atoms are  bonded with strong single covalent bonds therefore they tend to give substitution reactions mainly. The substitution of H atoms form a large number of organic compounds like haloalkane, alcohols, nitrile compounds etc. 

Chemical properties of cycloalkane 

As the ring strain increases in the ring, the stability of cycloalkane ring decreases. It increases the chemical reactivity of cycloalkane and shows the ring opening reactions.  


Sample Acid and Base Problems: 


Question 1: Identify the correct condensed formula of alkane.

condensed formula of alkane



The general chemical formula of alkane is chemical formula of alkane .  In the given chemical formula, the option b) matches with the general chemical formula. Thus, it should be option C3H8.

Answer: b)


Question 2  - What are the products of combustion reactions of alkanes?  

Hydrogen and carbon dioxide gas
Liquid water and carbon dioxide gas
Water vapor and carbon dioxide gas
Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide gas
Solution: Combustion reactions are exothermic reactions and combustion of alkanes forms carbon dioxide gas and water vapor.  
Answer: c) 

Question 3 - Which of the given formula represents the carboxylic acid functional groups? 

Solution: Carboxylic acids are the organic compounds with -COOH as the functional group. 
Answer: a)


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What are alkanes and cycloalkanes?

Alkane and Cycloalkanes are hydrocarbons that are composed of C and H atoms. The general formula for alkane is CnH2n+2 . whereas cycloalkane is CnH2n.


Which functional group is found in alkanes?

There is no such functional group in alkane as they are saturated hydrocarbons in which all C atoms are bonded with a single covalent bond with other C and also with H atoms.  

What is the functional group of cyclohexane?

Cyclohexane is an alicyclic hydrocarbon with cycloalkane as a functional group. Here six C atoms are bonded in a cyclic way to form a ring structure with single covalent bonds. The line-bond formula of c cyclohexane can be written as:


What is the functional group of cyclopentane?

Cyclopentane is an alicyclic hydrocarbon with cycloalkane as a functional group. Here five C atoms are bonded in a cyclic way to form a ring structure with single covalent bonds. The line-bond formula of c cyclohexane can be written as:

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