Nomenclature of Alkanes

  1. Nomenclature = Naming method.
  2. All organic carbon compounds are named according to the number of carbon in the molecule.
  3. The name is made up of two parts: the stem and the suffix.
  4. The stem tells the number of carbon atoms
  5. The suffix tells the homologous series of the compound.
Ethane is an alkane, the sten "eth" tell us that it has 2 carbon in the molecule, and the suffix "ane" indicates that it is a member of the alkanes homologous series.

Table below shows the naming code for the stem. In SPM, You will need to remember the codes for the number of carbon atoms in a chain up to 6 carbons.

No of carbons Code No of carbons Code
1 meth 7 hept
2 eth 8 oct
3 prop 9 non
4 but 10 dec
5 pent 11 hendec
6 hex 12 dodec

Name of the First 8 Alkanes

Table below shows the molecular formula and name of the first 8 members of alkane.
Number of Carbon Molecular Formula Name
1 CH4 Methane
2 C2H6 Ethane
3 C3H8 Propane
4 C4H10 Butane
5 C5H12 Pentane
6 C6H14 Hexane
7 C7H16 Heptane
8 C8H18 Octane

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