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REACTIVITY of HYDROCARBONS

A chemical plant involved in the extraction of non-polar substances from plants requires an unreactive solvent for the extraction process. As the plant chemist you need to determine the reactivity of various hydrocarbons that could be used. Three classes of hydrocarbons are alkanes ( saturated hydrocarbons containing only single C-C bonds), alkenes (unsaturated hydrocarbons containing containing a C=C double bond) and aromatics ( derivatives of benzene). If the substance does not react with acidiffied KMnO4 solution and with the bromine water then they are suitable for the usage at the plant.

The task
Investigate the reactivities of the classes of hydrocarbons: alkanes, alkenes and aromatics, under similar conditions, with respect to : Oxidation with potassium permangenate solution Halogenation with brimine water. Determine the class or classes of hydrocarbon that would be suitable to be used as a chemical plant solvent.

Equipment Required:
- 4 Test tubes - Dropper - Cyclohexane (C6H12) (3ml) - Cyclohexene (C6H10) (3ml) - Toluene (CH3C6H5) (3ml) - Potassium Permanganate solution (KMnO4) .01 mol L-1 (4ml) - Sulphuric Acid (H2SO4) 2mol L-1 (2ml) - Bromine Water (Br2) (5ml)

Procedure: Reaction of hydrocarbons with acidified permanganate: 1) Into three separate, labelled test tubes place 1 ml. of cyclohexane, cyclohexene and toluene respectively.

2) In a separate test tube add 4 ml of 0.01mol L-1 KMnO4 to 2 ml of 2mol L-1 H2SO4 3) Add 1 ml of this acidified KMnO4 solution to each of the test tubes containing the hydrocarbons. Shake each test tube gently and record any change that takes place in the aqueous layer over about 5 minutes. Reaction of hydrocarbons with bromine water: 1) Into three separate, labelled test tubes place 1 ml. of cyclohexane, cyclohexene and toluene respectively. 2) Add 1 ml of bromine water to each of the test tubes containing the hydrocarbons. Shake each test tube gently and record any colour change in each case.

Results:
Reaction of hydrocarbons with acidified permanganate: Toluene: Two clear layers, bottom layer of purple coloration, top layer transparent. Cyclohexane: Two clear layers, bottom layer of purple coloration, top layer transparent. Cyclohexene: Completely decolorized. Reaction of hydrocarbons with bromine water: Toluene: Two layers, top layer an opaque yellow, the bottom a transparent yellow. Cyclohexane: Two layers, top layer a bright orange colour, the bottom a yellow colour. Cyclohexene: Completely Decolorized In the investigation my results show that only the alkene reacted with the acidified permanganate solution. The alkanes and aromatics did not react with the potassium permanganate solution because the alkenes are more reactive as they want to become a single bond which is more stable. The cyclohexane and toluene was only a substitution reaction with the bromine water and did not actually react were as the cyclohexene was an addition reaction which caused a reaction with the bromine water.

If you assume that all alkane reactions will react the same as cyclohexane and all aromatics react the same as the toluene then they will all not react with bromine water and acidified permanganate solution. where as if you assume that all the alkenes will react the same as the cyclohexene then they will all react with bromine water and acidified permanganate solution in your assumption. So therefore you will assume that alkenes are reactive or more reactive than aromatics and alkane. The hydrocarbon that would be suitable as a solvent in the chemical plant would be the cyclohexane and toluene because they are an unreactive solvent were as the cyclohexene is reactive. For the plant, a non-polar substance is needed and because cyclohexane and toluene is non-polar it makes it suitable for the usage at the plant.