Organic Chemistry (C) Preview Page

Learning Outcomes 

Students should be able to:

Fuels and crude oil 

(a) name natural gas, mainly methane, and petroleum as sources of energy 

(b) describe petroleum as a mixture of hydrocarbons and its separation into useful fractions by fractional distillation (c) name the following fractions and state their uses: 

(i) petrol (gasoline) as a fuel in cars 

(ii) naphtha as the feedstock for the petrochemical industry 

(iii) paraffin (kerosene) as a fuel for heating and cooking and for aircraft engines 

(iv) diesel as a fuel for diesel engines (v) lubricating oils as lubricants and as a source of polishes and waxes

(vi) bitumen for making road surfaces 


(a) describe an homologous series as a group of compounds with a general formula, similar chemical properties and showing a gradation in physical properties as a result of increase in the size and mass of the molecules, e.g. melting and boiling points; viscosity; flammability 

(b) describe the alkanes as an homologous series of saturated hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH2n+2  

(c) draw the structures of unbranched alkanes, C1 to C3 and name the unbranched alkanes, methane to propane 

(d) describe the properties of alkanes (exemplified by methane) as being generally unreactive except in terms of combustion and substitution by chlorine 


(a) describe the alkenes as an homologous series of unsaturated hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH2n 

(b) draw the structures of unbranched alkenes, C2 to C3 and name the unbranched alkenes, ethene to propene 

(c) describe the manufacture of alkenes and hydrogen by cracking hydrocarbons and recognise that cracking is essential to match the demand for fractions containing smaller molecules from the refinery process 

(d) describe the difference between saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons from their molecular structures and by using aqueous bromine 

(e) describe the properties of alkenes (exemplified by ethene) in terms of combustion and the addition reactions with bromine and hydrogen 

(f) state the meaning of polyunsaturated when applied to food products 

(g) describe the manufacture of margarine by the addition of hydrogen to unsaturated vegetable oils to form a solid product

(h) describe the formation of poly(ethene) as an example of addition polymerisation of ethene as the monomer 

(i) state some uses of poly(ethene) as a typical plastic, e.g. plastic bags; clingfilm 

(j) deduce the structure of the addition polymer product from a given monomer and vice versa 

(k) describe the pollution problems caused by the disposal of non-biodegradable plastics 


(a) describe the alcohols as an homologous series containing the –OH group 

(b) draw the structures of unbranched alcohols, C1 to C3 and name the unbranched alcohols, methanol to propanol 

(c) describe the properties of alcohols in terms of combustion and oxidation to carboxylic acids 

(d) describe the formation of ethanol by fermentation of glucose 

Carboxylic acids 

(a) describe the carboxylic acids as organic acids containing the –CO2H group 

(b) describe the formation of ethanoic acid by the oxidation of ethanol by atmospheric oxygen or acidified potassium manganate(VII) 

Sample Worksheet 

Alkanes and Alkenes sample worksheet