Combinations of carbon and hydrogen, constituting a large body of organic compounds of great interest and importance. The more important ones may be roughly classified as follows: The; Paraffins a series of homologous saturated hydrocarbons of which the lower and bestknown members are Methane with a boilingpoint of 164 degrees C. and sp. gr. 0415 at boilingpoint. These hydrocarbons exhibit a stepbystep rise of CH2 and a gradual rise in the specific gravities. Under suitable conditions they can be oxidized by air to fatty acids. Methane is a constituent of “marsh gas” and “firedamp,” and often results from the decomposition of organic matter under water. Coal gas contains about 40 per cent, methane. It burns with a faintly luminous flame and forms an explosive mixture with air or oxygen. Ethane is a gas contained in crude petroleum and can be prepared by the electrolysis of acetic acid and otherwise. Like methane it burns with a slightly luminous flame. Propane and Butane are also gases, while the next three members of the series are colourless, mobile, inflammable liquids with boilingpoints as above set forth, found in paraffin oil as obtained from cannelcoal and in petroleum oil. Psntane is a colourless, mobile, inflammable, pleasantsmelling liquid soluble in alcohol and ether, and can be obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum. It is sometimes used as an anaesthetic, and in the artificial manufacture of ice. The liquid paraffins are all soluble in alcohol and ether but not in water. The defines or Ethylene series are described under that heading. The Acetylene series of general formula C

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Definition of  HYDROCARBONS