SPM Chemistry Form 5 Notes – Terminology and Concepts: Carbon Compounds (Part 1)

by BerryBerryTeacher

in Berry Reference (Notes)

Carbon compounds should not be confused with carbon itself. It simply means compound that contains carbon. Berry Readers can try to guess how many known carbon compounds there are in the world now. (Answers will be provided at the end of the post). With carbon being the 15th most easily found element on Earth’s crust, it is no wonder that carbon compounds are prevalent in everyday life. One example of carbon compounds include the CO2 that you breathe out while reading this BerryBerryEasy notes. It also include methane (CH4) which can be used to power vehicles in the future. See the trend? As long as it has a C (carbon) component in it, it is a carbon compound.

Students need to understand the definitions presented in this chapter of carbon compounds. Another important thing is to memorise the general formula for the homologous series, as with it, you can derive the chemical formula of most carbon compound covered in the syllabus using the name alone. So take note on it. Lastly, try to understand the ‘fractional distillation’ portion of hydrocarbon source. A very famous topic for exams.

SPM Chemistry Form 5 – Terminology and Concepts: Carbon Compounds

  1. Organic compoundscarbon containing compounds with covalent bonds.
  2. Inorganic compounds non-living things and usually do not contain carbon but few carbon containing inorganic compounds such as CO2, CaCO3 and KCN.
  3. Hydrocarbons – organic compounds that contain hydrogen and carbon atom only.
  4. Non-hydrocarbons – organic compounds that contain other elements (oxygen, nitrogen, iodine, phosphorus)
  5. Saturated hydrocarbons – only single bonded (Carbon-Carbon) hydrocarbons.
  6. Unsaturated hydrocarbons – at least one double / triple bonded (Carbon-Carbon) hydrocarbons.
  7. Complete combustion – organic compounds burn completely which form CO2 and H2O.
    Example: C2H5OH (l) + O2 (g) –> 2CO2 (g) + 3H2O (l)
  8. Incomplete combustion – organic compounds burn with limited supply of O2 which form C (soot), CO, CO2 and H2O.

Homologous Series

Homologous series – organic compounds with similar formulae and properties. It have the physical properties that change gradually as the number of carbon atoms in a molecule increases.

Carbon Compounds General Formula Functional group
Alkane CnH2n+2 n = 1, 2, 3, … Carbon-carbon single bond
- C – C -
Alkene CnH2n n = 2, 3, 4, … Carbon-carbon double bond
- C = C -
Alkynes CnH2n-2 n = 2, 3, 4, … Carbon-carbon triple bond
- C = C -
Arenes CnH2n-6 n = 6, 7, 8, … - C = C -
delocalised / free to move around the ring
Alcohol CnH2n+1OH n = 1, 2, 3, … Hydroxyl group
- OH
Carboxylic Acids CnH2n+1COOH n = 0, 1, 2 Carboxyl group
- COOH
Esters CnH2n+1COOCmH2m+1 n = 0, 1, 2, …
m = 1, 2, 3, …
Carboxylate group
- COO -

Sources of Hydrocarbon:

1.         Coal – from the lush vegetation that grew in warm shallow coastal swamps or dead plants slowly become rock. Mainly contains of hydrocarbon and some sulphur and nitrogen. It is used to produce: fertiliser, nylon, explosives and plastics.

2.         Natural gas – from plants and animals and trapped between the layers of impervious rocks (on top of petroleum). Mainly contains of methane gas and other gas such as propane and butane. It is used for: cooking, vehicle and generate electrical power.

3.         Petroleum – from plants and animals and trapped between the layers of impervious rocks. It is a complex mixture of alkanes, alkenes, aromatic hydrocarbons and sulphur compound. These compounds can be separated by using fractional distillation.

  • < 35°C – petroleum gas
  • 35°C – 75°C – Petrol (gasoline)
  • 75°C – 170°C – Naphtha
  • 170°C – 230°C – Kerosene
  • 230°C – 250°C – Diesel
  • 250°C – 300°C – Lubricating oil
  • 300°C – 350°C – Fuel oil
  • > 350°C – Bitumen

Berry Quiz: How many known carbon compounds there are in the world now? – Estimated to be around 10 million carbon compounds known. However, theoretically the number could be way larger. (Source: Wikipedia)

So stay tune for more Berry Goodness regarding carbon compounds.

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