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(Redirected from Alkynes)

Alkynes are hydrocarbons that have at least one triple bond between two carbon atoms. The alkynes are traditionally known as acetylenes, though the name acetylene is also used to refer specifically to the simplest member of the series, known officially as ethyne.



The carbon atoms in an alkyne bond are sp hybridized and carry 2 p orbitals and one sp hybrid orbital.The p orbitals overlap and create two pi bonds. In addition, two sp orbitals overlap to form one sp-sp sigma bond and now the total number of bonds is three. This makes that in the parent compound acetylene the H-C-C bond angles are 180. because a total of 6 electrons take part in bonding this triple bond is very strong with a bond strength of 837 KJ/mole. The sigma bond contributes 369 KJ/mole, the first pi bond contributes 268 KJ/mole and the second pi bond is weak with 202 KJ/mole bond strenght. The CC bond distance with 1.21 Angstrom is also much less than that of the alkene bond which is 1.34 Angstrom or the alkane bond with 1.53 Angstrom.

Physical properties

Unlike alkanes, alkynes are unstable and very reactive. This gives rise to the intense heat of the acetylene flame used in welding.


The simplest alkyne is ethyne (acetylene):


Terminal alkynes

Terminal alkynes have one hydrogen atom as an alpha substituent.

Metal acetylides

A terminal alkyne with a strong base such as sodium,sodium amide, n-butyllithium or a grignard reagent gives the anion of the terminal alkyne and a metal acetylide. Acetylenes are fairly acidic and have pKa values (25) between that of ammonia (35) or ethanol with 16. The explanation for this acidity is that the negative charge in acetylide is stabilized as a result of the high s character of the sp orbital in which the electron pair resides. Electrons in a s orbital benefit from closer proximity to the positively charged atom nucleus and therefore lower in energy.


Alkynes are generally prepared by dehydrohalogenation of vicinal alkyl dihalides or the reaction of metal acetylides with primary alkyl halides. In the Fritsch-Buttenberg-Wiechell rearrangement an alkyne is prepared starting from a vinyl bromide.


Alkynes are involved in many organic reactions.

eo:Alkino fr:Alcyne he:אלקין it:Alchini nl:Alkyn ja:アルキン pl:Alkin su:alkuna sv:Alkyn zh:炔


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