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Ethylene vs. Ethylidene: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on January 6, 2024
Ethylene is a simple alkene hydrocarbon with a double bond between two carbon atoms, used in the production of plastics, while ethylidene is a less common structure with a carbon double-bonded to two other atoms.

Key Differences

Ethylene, with the chemical formula C2H4, is a colorless gas commonly used in the chemical industry. Ethylidene, while structurally related, is less common, characterized by a carbon atom double-bonded to two different atoms.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024
In ethylene, the double bond between the two carbon atoms allows for various chemical reactions, making it key in polymer production. Ethylidene, due to its unique structure, is less versatile and not as widely used in industrial applications.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024
Ethylene is essential in the production of polyethylene, the most common plastic. Ethylidene groups, on the other hand, are more likely to be found as part of more complex organic molecules.
Huma Saeed
Jan 06, 2024
The stability of ethylene under standard conditions makes it a valuable industrial feedstock. Ethylidene, with its different bonding arrangement, has different chemical properties and reactivity.
Harlon Moss
Jan 06, 2024
Ethylene also plays a role in the ripening of fruits and is used in agriculture. Ethylidene is rarely mentioned in such contexts, being more of a chemical curiosity than a practical compound.
Harlon Moss
Jan 06, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Chemical Structure

Two carbon atoms double-bonded together
Carbon double-bonded to two different atoms
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

Industrial Use

Widely used in plastic production
Less common in industrial applications
Huma Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Presence in Nature

Natural plant hormone, aiding in ripening
Not naturally occurring as a hormone
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

Chemical Properties

Reactive due to double bond
Different reactivity due to structure
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

Common Applications

Key in making polyethylene, fruit ripening
Found in more complex organic molecules
Aimie Carlson
Jan 06, 2024
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Ethylene and Ethylidene Definitions

Ethylene

A colorless flammable gas used in chemical synthesis.
Ethylene is essential in the manufacturing of polyethylene plastics.
Janet White
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylidene

A less common chemical structure with a carbon atom double-bonded to two different atoms.
Ethylidene groups can be found in certain specialized organic molecules.
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylene

Has the chemical formula C2H4.
Ethylene's simple structure makes it a versatile compound in organic chemistry.
Harlon Moss
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylidene

Part of more complex organic compounds.
Ethylidene is sometimes encountered in advanced organic chemistry synthesis.
Janet White
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylene

A hydrocarbon with a carbon-carbon double bond.
The double bond in ethylene makes it highly reactive in polymerization reactions.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylidene

Not widely used in industrial applications like ethylene.
Ethylidene, due to its structure, is not a major player in plastic manufacturing.
Huma Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylene

Used in the production of various solvents and chemicals.
Ethylene is a starting material for producing ethylene oxide.
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylidene

Has different chemical properties due to its unique bonding.
Ethylidene's reactivity differs from ethylene because of its structural distinctions.
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylene

Acts as a plant hormone to accelerate ripening.
Ethylene gas is used commercially to ripen bananas quickly.
Janet White
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylidene

Rarely mentioned outside specialized chemical contexts.
Ethylidene is not as well-known as ethylene in general chemistry.
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylene

A colorless flammable gas, C2H4, derived from natural gas and petroleum and also occurring as a natural plant hormone, used as a source of many organic compounds, in welding and cutting metals, to ripen citrus fruits, and as an anesthetic. Also called ethene.
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylidene

The divalent radical CH3-CH= formally obtained by removing two hydrogen atoms from the same carbon atom of ethane
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylene

(organic compound) The common name for the organic chemical compound ethene. The simplest alkene, a colorless gaseous (at room temperature and pressure) hydrocarbon with the chemical formula C2H4.
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylidene

An unsymmetrical, divalent, hydrocarbon radical, C2H4 metameric with ethylene but written thus, CH3.CH= to distinguish it from the symmetrical ethylene, CH2=CH2. Its compounds are derived from aldehyde. Formerly called also ethidene.
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylene

(organic chemistry) The divalent radical derived from ethane.
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylene

A colorless, gaseous hydrocarbon, C2H4, forming an important ingredient of illuminating gas, and also obtained by the action of concentrated sulphuric acid in alcohol. It is an unsaturated compound and combines directly with chlorine and bromine to form oily liquids (Dutch liquid), - hence called olefiant gas. Called also ethene, elayl, and formerly, bicarbureted hydrogen.
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

Ethylene

A flammable colorless gaseous alkene; obtained from petroleum and natural gas and used in manufacturing many other chemicals; sometimes used as an anesthetic
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

FAQs

What makes ethylene important in industry?

Its reactivity and role in producing polyethylene and other chemicals make it vital.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

Is ethylidene used in agriculture?

No, it does not have significant agricultural applications like ethylene.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 06, 2024

Where is ethylidene typically found?

Ethylidene is found in more complex organic molecules and specialized chemistry applications.
Huma Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

What is ethylene commonly used for?

Ethylene is primarily used in the production of plastics and as a plant ripening agent.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

How is ethylene produced commercially?

It's mainly produced through steam cracking of hydrocarbons like ethane and propane.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 06, 2024

Can ethylene be found in nature?

Yes, it naturally occurs as a plant hormone that aids in fruit ripening.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

Does ethylidene have any role in plastic production?

Unlike ethylene, ethylidene is not commonly used in plastic manufacturing.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

What type of chemical is ethylidene classified as?

Ethylidene is a type of organic compound with a specific double-bond structure.
Harlon Moss
Jan 06, 2024

Does ethylidene play a role in pharmaceuticals?

It can be involved in the synthesis of certain specialized pharmaceuticals.
Harlon Moss
Jan 06, 2024

How is ethylidene stability compared to ethylene?

Ethylidene's stability varies based on its incorporation into other molecules.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

What are the safety concerns with ethylene?

Being flammable, ethylene requires careful handling and storage.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

Is ethylidene a gas like ethylene?

Ethylidene is typically not found as a standalone gas; it's part of larger molecules.
Harlon Moss
Jan 06, 2024

Is ethylidene a common topic in basic chemistry education?

It's less commonly discussed than ethylene, usually appearing in advanced organic chemistry.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

Can ethylene be used in food production?

Yes, particularly in artificially ripening fruits.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

How does the reactivity of ethylidene compare to ethylene?

Ethylidene's reactivity is different due to its distinct structural bonding.
Harlon Moss
Jan 06, 2024

Can ethylene be used as a solvent?

Ethylene itself is not a solvent, but it's used to produce solvents like ethylene glycol.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

Are ethylene and ethylidene related structurally?

They share a carbon backbone, but differ significantly in bonding and reactivity.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

What type of bond is crucial in ethylene's reactivity?

The carbon-carbon double bond is key to ethylene's chemical reactivity.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

Are there environmental concerns with ethylene?

Ethylene's production and use can have environmental impacts, like contributing to greenhouse gases.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024

Is ethylene naturally occurring in all plants?

Many, but not all, plants produce ethylene as part of their growth and ripening processes.
Sara Rehman
Jan 06, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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