What Are Hydrocarbons?

What Are Hydrocarbons?


Learn more about organic chemistry by exploring hydrocarbons, the molecular basis of petroleum, and learning to distinguish between organic and inorganic compounds.


Begin by reading two articles:

As you read, consider these questions (you can write your answers to them on the What Are Hydrocarbons? student sheet. You will share your answers with the class.

  • What does the term "organic" mean to chemists?
  • What is an organic compound?
  • How is the term "organic" used among farmers and food stores today?
  • Why are carbon-based compounds lumped together as a separate subject within the study of chemistry?
  • Is carbon a metal or a nonmetal?
  • Carbon's atomic number is six. What does that tell us about any carbon atom?
  • What is carbon's electron shell configuration?
  • How many valence electrons does carbon have?
  • Will carbon as an atom interact with other atoms to form ionic or covalent bonds?
  • In order to fill its outer shell, how many bonds will carbon make?
  • What are hydrocarbons?
  • Are hydrocarbons organic or inorganic molecules? Why?
  • Why can carbon form so many different types of compounds?

This esheet is a part of the Chemistry of Petroleum 1: What Are Hydrocarbons? lesson.

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