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Melting points of Hydrocarbons, Alcohols and Acids

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The tables and figures below show how the melting point changes with increasing carbon number up to C 33 for different kinds of hydrocarbons, alcohols and carboxylic acids. More detailed definitions and examples of molecular structures of the different  classes of organic compounds are given below the figures.

  • Melting point - the temperature at which a solid turns into a liquid
  • Boiling point - the temperature at which a liquid turns into a gas

For hydrocarbons with the same carbon number the boiling point increases in the following order:

multisubstituted alkane < singelsubstituted alkane < singelsubstituted alkene < normal alkene < normal alkane < alkyl cyclohexane <  alkylbenzene < cycloalkene < cycloalkane < 2-, 4- and 3-alkanol / 1-alkylnaphthalene  < 1-alkanol < normal alkanoic acid

For melting points, the trends are more varying with increasing carbon number for the different types of hydrocarbons.

See also boiling points of hydrcarbons, alcohols and acids , densities for different kinds of organic compounds and density, boiling and melting points of nitrogen and sulfur compounds.

See also pKa values for phenols, alcohols and carboxylic acids .




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Melting points of Hydrocarbons, Alcohols and Acids
Carbon number Melting point of hydrocarbons, alcohols and acids,  C1-C16, given in °C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Alkylcyclohexane* -127 -113 -95 -78 -58 -48 -31 -20 -10 -2
2,2-dimetylalkane -17 -100 -123 -121 -113
3-methylalkane -118 -119 -121 -108 -85 -80 -58
Alkylbenzene* 6 -95 -95 -100 -88 -75 -63 -48 -36 -24 -14
Alkylcyclopentane -142 -138 -117 -108 -83 -73 -61 -45 -29 -22
2-methylalkane -160 -160 -154 -118 -110 -80 -75 -49 -47
1-alkene -169 -185 -185 -165 -140 -119 -102 -81 -66 -49 -35 -23 -13 -4

4

2-methylalkene -140 -138 -136 -103 -90 -78 -64 -51
N-alkane -183 -183 -188 -138 -130 -95 -91 -57 -53 -30 -26 -10
1-alkyne -81 -103 -126 -106 -132 -81 -79 -50 -44 -25 -19 1 15
3-alkanol -70 -70 -45 22 -8
Cycloalkene** -135 -104 -55
4-alkanol -41 -41 -11
2-alkanol -88 -88 -73 -23 -32 -35 -5 0 19
1-alkanol -98 -114 -124 -89 -78 -46 -33 -15 -5 7 17 24 31 38 44
Cycloalkane** -129 -91 -94 7 -8 15 11 10
Alkanoic acid 8 17 -21 -5 -34 -4 -7 17 12 31 29 44 42 63
1-alkylnaphthalene 80 -31 -14 -9 -20 -25 -18
Carbon number Melting point of hydrocarbons, alcohols and acids, C1-C16, given in °F
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Alkylcyclohexane* -197 -171 -139 -108 -72 -54 -24 -5 14 29
2,2-dimetylalkane 2 -148 -189 -186 -171
3-methylalkane -180 -182 -186 -162 -121 -112 -72
Alkylbenzene* 42 -139 -139 -147 -126 -103 -82 -54 -33 -11 6
Alkylcyclopentane -224 -217 -179 -162 -117 -99 -78 -48 -20 -8
2-methylalkane -255 -256 -245 -180 -166 -112 -103 -56 -53
1-alkene -273 -302 -302 -265 -220 -182 -151 -114 -87 -56 -31 -10 9 25 40
2-methylalkene -221 -216 -213 -153 -130 -108 -83 -60
N-alkane -297 -297 -306 -217 -201 -140 -131 -70 -64 -21 -14 15
1-alkyne -113 -153 -194 -158 -205 -114 -111 -58 -47 -13 -2 34 59
3-alkanol -94 -94 -49 72 19
Cycloalkene** -211 -154 -67
4-alkanol -42 -41 12
2-alkanol -126 -127 -99 -9 -25 -31 23 32 66
1-alkanol -144 -173 -192 -127 -108 -52 -28 6 23 45 62 76 88 100 111
Cycloalkane** -199 -131 -137 44 18 59 51 51
Alkanoic acid 47 63 -5 23 -28 25 19 62 54 89 83 111 107 145
1-alkylnaphthalene 177 -24 7 17 -3 -12 0
* C#(N-alkyl)=0-10
** rings without substituents



Definitions of organic compounds

Hydrocarbon: An organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon.

Main groups of hydrocarbons:

Alkane: An acyclic saturated hydrocarbon, with the general formula C n H 2n+2 . Also called paraffin .

Alkene: An unsaturated hydrocarbon that contains at least one carbon–carbon double bond, with the general formula C n H 2n . Also called olefine .

Alkyne : An unsaturated hydrocarbon containing at least one carbon—carbon triple bond, with the general formula C n H 2n-2 . Also called acetylene .

Cycloalkane: A one-ring (monocyclic) saturated hydrocarbon, with the general formula C n H 2n . Also called naphthene .

Cycloalkene: An alkene hydrocarbon which contains a closed ring of carbon atoms, but has no aromatic character, with the general formula C n H 2n-2 . Also called cycloolefin .

Aromatic hydrocarbon : A cyclic (ring-shaped), planar (flat) molecule with a ring of resonance bonds that exhibits more stability than other geometric or connective arrangements with the same set of atoms. The simplest of the aromatics have 6 carbon atoms and contains 3 double bounds.  A one ring aromatic without any substituents is called benzene, with the formula C 6 H 6 .

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons : hydrocarbon that are composed of multiple aromatic rings. A two ring aromatic without any substituents is called naphthalene, with the formula C 10 H 8 .

Some under-groups of hydrocarbons given in this document:

Alkyl: An alkane substituent missing one hydrogen, with general formula C n H 2n+1

2-Methylalkane: A branched alkane, with a methyl group connected to the second carbon atom in the main carbon chain.

3-Methylalkane: A branched alkane, with a methyl group connected to the third carbon atom in the main carbon chain.

2-Methylalkene: A branched alkene, with a methyl group connected to the second carbon atom in the main carbon chain.

Alkylcycklohexane: A monosubstituted cyclohexane with one branching via the attachment of one alkyl group on one carbon of the cyclohexane ring, with the general formula C n H (2n+1) C 6 H 11 .

Alkylcycklopentane : A monosubstituted cyclopentane with one branching via the attachment of one alkyl group on one carbon of the cyclohexane ring, with the general formula C n H 2n+1 C 5 H 9 .

Alkylbenzene: A monosubstituted benzene with one branching via the attachment of one alkyl group on one carbon of the benzene ring, with the general formula C n H (2n+1) C 6 H 5 .

Alkylnaphthalene: A monosubstituted naphthalene with one branching via the attachment of one alkyl group on one carbon of one of the aromatic rings, with the general formula C n H (2n+1) C 10 H 7 .

Some other groups of organic compounds:

Alcohol: an organic compound in which the hydroxyl functional group (–OH) is bound to a saturated carbon atom

Alkanol: An alcohol where the hydroxyl group is connected to an alkane

Carboxylic acid: an organic compound that contains a carboxyl group (C(=O)OH). The general formula of a carboxylic acid is R–COOH, with R referring to the rest of the molecule.

Alkanoic acid: A carboxylic acid where the R is an alkane.

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