Chemistry

Difference Between Propane and Propene

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Main Difference

The main difference between Propane and Propene is that Propane is a saturated hydrocarbon with single bonds only, whereas propene is an unsaturated hydrocarbon with a double bond in addition to single bonds.

Propane vs. Propene

Propane is an organic compound with a chemical formula C3H8, whereas propene is an organic compound with a chemical formula C3H6. In propane, the three carbons have a single bond between each of them. On the contrary, in propene, the first two carbons have a double bond, whereas a single bond is present between the second and the third carbon.

Propane has a total of eight hydrogen atoms attached to carbon atoms, whereas propene has six hydrogen atoms attached to carbon atoms, two atoms less than propane molecule. The boiling point of propane is -42 degrees Celcius, whereas the boiling point of propene is -47.6 degrees Celcius.

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Propane is an alkane, whereas propene is an alkene. Propane is a saturated compound. On the other hand, propene is an unsaturated compound having enough space for accommodating double and triple bonds. Propane has ten single bonds, whereas propene has one double bond and seven single bonds.

The hydrocarbon is having three carbon atoms, eight hydrogen atoms, and single bonds between carbon-carbon and carbon-hydrogen atoms are called propane. On the contrary, the hydrocarbon having three carbon atoms, six hydrogen atoms, the double bond between the first and the second carbon, and single bonds between carbon and hydrogen atoms is called propene.

Propane does not give a bromine water test, and the solution remains brown that shows the saturated character of propane. On the flip side, propene gives a bromine water test, and the solution turns colorless, which depicts the unsaturated character of propene.

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Comparison Chart

PropanePropene
An organic compound with chemical formula C3H8 is called propane.An organic compound with chemical formula C3H6 is called propene.
Character
SaturatedUnsaturated
Category
AlkaneAlkene
No. of Hydrogen Atoms
EightSix
Molar Mass
44.10 g/mol42.081 g/mol
Boiling Point
-42 degrees Celcius-47.6 degrees Celcius
No. of Single Bonds
TenSeven
No. of Double Bonds
ZeroOne
No. of Sigma Bonds
TenSeven
No. of Pi Bonds
ZeroOne
Odor
OdorlessPetroleum like odor
Member No.
3rd member of the alkane class2nd member of the alkene class
Obtained From
Natural gas and petroleumCracking of petroleum
Usage
As fuelIn organic synthesis
Bromine-water Test
NegativePositive
Effect on Solution
Solution color remains the same (brown)Solution color turns colorless
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What is Propane?

Propane is an odorless colorless gas of the alkane family. It is created over long periods by the decomposition reactions of organic matter. Propane is composed of three carbon and eight hydrogen atoms linked with each other through sigma bond formation.

Propane is a naturally occurring gas, which is created along with a variety of hydrocarbons, including crude oil, butane, and gasoline, etc. by the breakdown of remains of tiny sea animals and plants. Propane is a gas at normal temperature and pressure but can be liquefied under specific conditions. Propane vapors are heavier and denser as compared to air.

Propane is given a nickname of portable gas, which means that it is easier to use, store, and transport as compared to natural gas. Propane cannot be synthesized in a shorter time. It requires a long time to be produced by organic disintegration.

The specific gravity of liquid propane is 0.51 as compared to water. Therefore, propane is less dense than water. Propane is non-polar. Thus, propane is soluble only in non-polar solvents like carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, benzene, and ether, etc. and insoluble in polar solvents.

Propane is less reactive as compared to propane. Propane does not react with strong acids, bases, oxidants, or reductants. Propane reacts with halogens and gives halogenation reactions in the presence of sunlight.

Uses of Propane

  • Space and water heating
  • Cooking
  • Fuel for engine application like buses and forklifts
  • Crop drying, weed control, powering equipment
  • Irrigation pumps, grain dryers
  • Generators, cutting metals and processing heat

What is Propene?

Propene is described as a colorless gas, which has a pale petroleum odor. Propene consists of a single, double bond between the first pair of carbon atoms. Propene carries one double bond and seven single bonds between its atoms.

Propene is non-polar in nature. Therefore, it is soluble in non-polar solvents like benzene. Propene is insoluble in polar substances like water. The boiling point of propene is -47.6 degrees Celcius, which is close enough to the boiling point of propane.

Propene is weakly polar, just like propane, but it is slightly more reactive as compared to propane due to the presence of weak pi bond in it. The pi ponds present in propene can be easily removed and added as well that increases the rate of reaction of propene. Therefore, the dipole moment of propene is higher as compared to propane.

Due to the unsaturated character of propene, it can form polymer compounds. The double bond can carry out the process of addition polymerization by opening up the double bond. The polymer made by addition polymerization of propene is polypropylene or polypropene. One of the most important reactions of propene is the combustion, which can be either complete or incomplete combustion.

Uses of Propene

  • In the formation of films and fibers
  • In making containers and packaging
  • In making caps and closures
  • In the production of chemicals like propylene oxide, acrylonitrile, cumene, butyraldehyde, acrylic acid, etc

Key Differences

  1. Propane is a saturated hydrocarbon made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms, whereas propene is an unsaturated hydrocarbon made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms.
  2. Propane embraces three carbon atoms as well as eight hydrogen atoms, whereas propene consists of three carbon and six hydrogen atoms.
  3. The chemical formula of propane is C3H8, whereas the chemical formula of propene is C3H6.
  4. There is no double bond in propane, while there is a double bond present between the first and the second carbon atom in propene.
  5. There are ten single bonds in propane, eight between carbon and hydrogen atoms, and two between carbon atoms. In contrast, there are seven single bonds, six between carbon and hydrogen atoms and one between carbon atoms.
  6. No pi bond is present in propane. On the contrary, one pi bond is also present in propene besides sigma bonds.
  7. The molar mass of propane is 44.10 g/mol, whereas the molar mass of propene is 42.081 g/mol.
  8. The boiling point of propane is -42 degrees Celcius. Conversely, the boiling point of propene is -47.6 degrees Celcius.
  9. The melting point of propane is -187.7 degrees Celcius, whereas the melting point of propene is -185.2 degrees Celcius.
  10. Propane is less reactive due to the presence of strong sigma bonds. On the other hand, propene is more reactive due to the presence of weak pi bonds.
  11. Propane has less dipole moment, whereas propene has more dipole moment.
  12. Propane is obtained from natural gas and petroleum. On the flip side, propene is obtained by cracking petroleum.
  13. Propane is mostly used as fuel, whereas propene is used in organic synthesis.

Conclusion

It is concluded that propane is an alkane, whereas propene is an alkene.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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