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Alkyl Group

Alkanes, Alkyl RadicalsAlkenes

An alkyl group is a paraffinic hydrocarbon group that may be derived from an alkane by dropping one hydrogen from the structure. Such groups are often represented in chemical formulas by the letter R and have the generic name CnH2n+1.

The series of compounds derived from the alkanes by removing one hydrogen atom from each of two adjacent carbon atoms, thereby introducing a double bond into the molecule, bears the name olefin. The systematic names are formed by substituting the suffix -ene for -ane in the name of the alkane from which they are derived. Thus the series as a whole is called the alkenes. Some common alkenes are methylene (-CH 2 ), ethylene (CH2=CH2), and propylene (CH3CH=CH2).



Loudon, G. Mark. Organic Chemistry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Sperling, L.H. Introduction to Physical Polymer Science. 3rd ed. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2001.

Randall Frost


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—A subset of aliphatic hydrocarbons characterized by having a straight or branched chain, and having the generic formula CnH2n+2.


—A paraffinic hydrocarbon group that may be obtained from an alkane by removing a hydrogen atom from the latter.

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