Building Blocks of Chemistry – The Hydrocarbons

Hydrocarbons are a chief fabricating element of many chemical compounds found in nature. Hydrocarbons form the basic foundation on which the study of organic compounds is made.  Let us know what are hydrocarbons and the classification of hydrocarbons.

Hydrocarbons are organic compounds composed of basic chemical compounds like hydrogen and carbon. A detailed study of the hydrocarbons provides a deeper insight into the chemical characteristics of other functional groups along with their methods of preparation. 

The prime source of energy and the most exploited natural resource are hydrocarbons such as petroleum and natural gas (LPG). Apart from being used as fuel, these hydrocarbons are also used as raw materials for the manufacturing of rubber, plastics, solvents, fibre, explosives, and industrial chemicals. 

Hydrocarbons are also found abundantly in nature. Plants and trees, upon decaying, produces fossil fuels – the main form of hydrocarbon. Natural rubber which is produced from the rubber trees contains 98% of hydrocarbons which are linked in a chain format, forming a strong bond. 

Benzene is a commonly known hydrocarbon and is used as the main ingredient in the production of synthetic drugs

Hydrocarbons consist of carbon atoms which are attached to hydrogen molecules in various formats and structures. The structure of hydrocarbon is as shown below.

Classification of hydrocarbons is made based on their respective properties and source. Hydrocarbons are classified as shown below

Aliphatic hydrocarbons are derived by the process of chemical degradation of fats or oils. Aliphatic hydrocarbons are also known as aromatic hydrocarbons. Aliphatic hydrocarbons are classified into alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes.

Acyclic hydrocarbons have a ring structure of compound arrangement and the carbon atoms found can be Sp, Sp2 or Sp3 hybridized.

Let us know more about equilibrium in a chemical reaction.

In a chemical reaction, when the rate of the forward reaction is equal to the rate of the reverse reaction the chemical reaction is said to be in an equilibrium state. There shall be no changes in the concentration of the reactants and products which participate in the chemical reaction which has attained equilibrium. 

Explore various other chemical reactions like Homogeneous Chemical Equilibrium reaction, Heterogeneous Chemical Equilibrium reaction, ionic equilibrium reaction, reversible chemical reaction and dynamic equilibrium reaction on the online learning app- BYJU’S.


BYJU’S gives updated scientific and mathematical content developed by industry professionals and experienced teachers. Subscribe to BYJU’S YouTube Channel to discover more interesting topics!



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