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Alkanes: Structure and Constitution

Alkanes: Structural Diversity

Based on the tetravalency of carbon, an enormous diversity of bonding possibilities and structures exist in alkanes. Most compounds found in nature consist of a framework of chains and rings connected with each other and made up of C atoms. Attached to these frameworks as substituents are functional groups which consist of other elements, mainly N and O. It is probably not by accident that most living matter on Earth is composed of carbon compounds. Generally, alkanes can be separated into linear (so-called n-alkanes), branched, cyclic and polycyclic structures.

Structural diversity of alkanes
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