Write 5 pages with APA style on Uses and Sources of Alkanes. Petroleum is usually obtained from underground rock formations by drilling oil wells has a complex mixture of organic compounds majorly alkanes. Some natural gas often exists with petroleum which is usually formed through anaerobic decomposition of plant material that was deposited under inland seas several years ago. Methane is usually the principal product of all the anaerobic decomposition of all organic material. (Lister & Renshaw, 2000)
Crude oil is separated into groups of compounds according to boiling points by distillation in a refinery. In this process, the liquid is boiled, and gases move up a large column that becomes cooler towards the top. Compounds condense to liquids at different levels in the column depending on their boiling points. (Malone & Dolter, 2010)
Coal can also be used as a raw material for the production of alkanes. Alkanes can be obtained through the refinement of coal. Coal is one of the earliest fossil fuels. It occurs in varying depths under the upper crust of the earth. It is mined through open pits or deep mining depending on the level of the depths. Coal mainly consists of carbon, arenes like benzene, toluene, xylene, naphthalene, and anthracene besides organic compounds of sulfur and nitrogen.
A few alkanes have been detected in the waxy constituents of certain plants. For example-nonacosane, C29H60 has been isolated from cabbage leaves and leaves, and n-heptane, C7H16 is found to be present in pinus species.
Alkanes can be prepared in the laboratory from alkyl halides by reduction, directly with zinc and acetic acid, or via Grignard reagent formation followed by .hydrolytic work up. The coupling reaction of alkyl halides with Gilman reagent also produces alkanes. Selective reduction of aldehydes or ketones either by Clemmensen reduction or Wolff-Kishner reduction yields alkanes.