Tag Archives: alkanes


Low reactivity of alkanes

Watch the following video and take your own notes.


Complete v Incomplete combustion

Complete combustion = excess oxygen and the products are CO2 and H2O
Incomplete combustion = limited oxygen and the products are CO and H2O
Write and balance the equations for the complete and incomplete combustion of methane, methanol, butane and butan-1-ol.

Reaction of alkanes with halogens

Find the equation for the reaction of methane with chlorine and the reaction of ethane with bromine.  Are these reactions fast or slow?
What happens if excess halogen is added?

Free radical mechanism

Watch the following video.  WARNING! – turn off the sound!
It breaks down the steps involved in the reaction between methane and chlorine.  Take note of the equations that occur at each of the 3 steps – initiation, propogation and termination.

Study these steps and try and memorise them.

What is homolytic fission?
Use the same pattern to now write the free radical mechanism for the reaction between ethane and bromine.