- Aliphatic compound
organic chemistry, compounds composed of carbonand hydrogenare divided into two classes: aromaticcompounds, which contain benzenerings or similar rings of atoms, and aliphatic compounds (G. "aleiphar", fat, oil), which do not contain aromatic rings. [GoldBookRef |title=Aliphatic compounds |file=A00217 |year=1995]
In aliphatic compounds, carbon atoms can be joined together in straight chains, branched chains, or non-aromatic rings (in which case they are called
alicyclic). They can be joined by single bonds ( alkanes), double bonds ( alkenes), or triple bonds ( alkynes). Besides hydrogen, other elements can be bound to the carbon chain, the most common being oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and chlorine.
The simplest aliphatic compound is
methane(CH4). Aliphatics include alkanessuch as fatty acids and paraffin hydrocarbons, alkenes (such as ethylene) and alkynes (such as acetylene).
Most aliphatic compounds are flammable, allowing the use of hydrocarbons as fuel, such as
methanein Bunsen burners, and acetylenein welding.
* Aromatic compound
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