Aliphatic compound

Acyclic aliphatic compound or non-aromatic (Butane)
Cyclic aliphatic /non-aromatic compounds(Cyclobutane)

In organic chemistry, hydrocarbons (compounds composed of carbon and hydrogen) are divided into two classes: aromatic compounds and aliphatic compounds (/ˌælˈfætk/; G. aleiphar, fat, oil) also known as non-aromatic compounds. Aliphatics can be cyclic, but only aromatic compounds contain an especially stable ring of atoms, such as benzene.[1] Aliphatic compounds can be saturated, like Hexane, or unsaturated, like Hexene and Hexyne. Open-chain compounds (whether straight or branched) contain no rings of any type, and are thus aliphatic.


Aliphatic compounds can be saturated, joined by single bonds (alkanes), or unsaturated, with double bonds (alkenes) or triple bonds (alkynes). Besides hydrogen, other elements can be bound to the carbon chain, the most common being oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and chlorine.

The least complex aliphatic compound is methane (CH4).


Most aliphatic compounds are flammable, allowing the use of hydrocarbons as fuel, such as methane in Bunsen burners and as liquefied natural gas (LNG), and acetylene in welding.

Examples of aliphatic compounds / non-aromatic

The most important aliphatic compounds are:

Important examples of low-molecular aliphatic compounds can be found in the list below (sorted by the number of carbon-atoms):

Formula Name CAS-Number Structural Formula Chemical Classification
CH4 Methane 74-82-8 Alkane
C2H2 Ethyne 74-86-2 Alkyne
C2H4 Ethene 74-85-1 Alkene
C2H6 Ethane 74-84-0 Alkane
C3H4 Propyne 74-99-7 Alkyne
C3H6 Propene - Alkene
C3H8 Propane - Alkane
C4H6 1,2-Butadiene 590-19-2 Diene
C4H6 1-Butyne - Alkyne
C4H8 Butene - e.g. Alkene
C4H10 Butane - Alkane
C6H10 Cyclohexene 110-83-8 Cycloalkene
C5H12 n-pentane 109-66-0 Alkane
C7H14 Cycloheptane 291-64-5 Cycloalkane
C7H14 Methylcyclohexane 108-87-2 Cyclohexane
C8H8 Cubane 277-10-1 Cyclobutane
C9H20 Nonane 111-84-2 Alkane
C10H12 Dicyclopentadiene 77-73-6 Diene, Cycloalkene
C10H16 Phellandrene 99-83-2 Terpene, Diene Cycloalkene
C10H16 α-Terpinene 99-86-5 Terpene, Cycloalkene, Diene
C10H16 Limonene 5989-27-5 Terpene, Diene, Cycloalkene
C11H24 Undecane 1120-21-4 Alkane
C30H50 Squalene 111-02-4 Terpene, Polyene
C2nH4n Polyethylene 9002-88-4 Alkane

A few structures can be shown as example:

But-1-ene can be shown as


Aliphatic acids

Aliphatic acids are the acids of nonaromatic hydrocarbons, such as acetic acid, propionic acid, and butyric acid.

See also


  1. IUPAC, Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book") (1997). Online corrected version:  (1995) "Aliphatic compounds".
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