The Quintessential Aromatic Hydrocarbon Benzene (Pt.1)

[caption id="attachment_14959" align="alignright" width="440"] Cyclohexane - Chair Form[/caption] Benzene? What's that? Living creatures universally share an important characteristic: they all are constructed of carbon-containing compounds. For that reason, chemists call such compounds organic. Now the term organic has taken on additional meaning. Compounds that are similar, but not found in nature, are also called organic compounds. One group of organic compounds, whether found in nature or not, possess special properties—chemical and physical—that put them into a category apart. Once it was thought such compounds were distinguishable by smell or aroma. Each was labeled an aromatic, and—the property itself—aromaticity. Simple Hydrocarbons The simplest hydrocarbon1 is methane (CH4)—a gas. It possesses a tetrahedral structure, with a carbon atom at its center and four hydrogen atoms at the corners (See Figure 1). Since…
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