Category Archives: Modification of alkanes by cracking

Obtaining useful substances from crude oil (cracking)

Cracking (type of thermal decomposition) Hydrocarbons can be cracked (decomposed) to produce smaller, more useful molecules. There are two types of cracking process that achieve thermal decomposition: catalytic cracking and thermal cracking. Catalytic cracking: the alkane is heated and the vapour is passed over a hot zeolite (aluminosilicate) catalyst. The reaction occurs at around 500ºC. Thermal (steam) cracking: the alkane vapour

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Modification of alkanes by cracking

Cracking involves breaking C–C bonds in alkanes. Catalytic cracking takes place at a slight pressure, high temperature and in the presence of a zeolite catalyst and is used mainly to produce motor fuels and aromatic hydrocarbons (mechanism not required). Thermal cracking takes place at high pressure and high temperature and produces a high percentage of alkenes (mechanism not required). Students should be able to explain the

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