Properties of hydrocarbons


  • Some properties of hydrocarbons depend on the size of their molecules, including boiling point, viscosity and flammability. These properties influence how hydrocarbons are used as fuels.

Students should be able to recall how boiling point, viscosity and flammability change with increasing molecular size.

The combustion of hydrocarbon fuels releases energy. During combustion, the carbon and hydrogen in the fuels are oxidised. The complete combustion of a hydrocarbon produces carbon dioxide and water.

Students should be able to write balanced equations for the complete combustion of hydrocarbons with a given formula.

Knowledge of trends in properties of hydrocarbons is limited to: • boiling points

• viscosity

• flammability.

WS 1.2 Use a variety of models such as representational, spatial, descriptive, computational and mathematical to solve problems, make predictions and to develop scientific explanations and understanding of familiar and unfamiliar facts.

WS 4.1 Use scientific vocabulary, terminology and definitions.