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Alkanes are the saturated hydrocarbons having general formula CnH2n+2. Alkanes are also called as paraffins because of their inertness towards most reagents. The IUPAC names of alkanes end with suffix ‘ane’. The first part that is prefix of the name indicates the number of carbon atoms present in the chain. Alkanes can be prepared in the laboratory by the decarboxylation reaction. Methane is the first member of the series of alkane. It is a colourless and odourless gas, insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents. Ethane is the second member of alkane series. It is also a colourless, odourlesss, non-poisonous gas. Methane and ethane does not react with bases such as sodium hydroxide or with oxidizing agents such as potassium permanganate or with reducing agents such as sodium metal. Alkanes undergo substitution reactions, decomposition reactions, catalytic oxidation and combustion reactions.

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