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Difference Between Cyclohexane and Cyclohexene

Cyclohexane vs Cyclohexene

Organic molecules are molecules that consist of carbons. There are various types of organic compounds made by joining different elements with carbon atoms. Cyclohexane and cyclohexene are hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are organic molecules, which consist of only carbon and hydrogen atoms. Hydrocarbons can be aromatic or aliphatic. They are mainly divided into few types as alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, cycloalkanes and aromatic hydrocarbons.  Hydrocarbons can be categorized also as saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons. Saturated hydrocarbons can also be referred to as alkanes. They have the highest number of hydrogen atoms that a molecule can accommodate. All the bonds between carbon atoms and hydrogens are single bonds. In unsaturated hydrocarbons, there are double or triple bonds between the carbon atoms. Since there are multiple bonds, the optimal number of hydrogen atoms is not there in the molecule. 


Cyclohexane is a cyclic molecule with the formula of C6H12. This is a cycloalkane. Though it has the similar number of carbons like benzene, cyclohexane is saturated. So there aren’t any double bonds between carbons like in benzene. It is a colorless liquid with a mild, sweet odor. This can be produced by the reaction between benzene and hydrogen. Since this is a cycloalkane, it is somewhat unreactive.

Cyclohexane is nonpolar and hydrophobic. Therefore, this is used as a nonpolar solvent in the chemistry laboratory. Cyclohexane is considered to be the most stable cycloalkane of all because, its total ring strain is minimum. Therefore, it produces the least amount of heat when burning compared to other cycloalkanes. However, it is highly flammable. Cyclohexane does not have a perfect hexagon shape. Therefore, if it is in the hexagonal shape, it would have a considerable torsional strain. To minimize this torsional strain as much as possible, Cyclohexane adopts a three dimensional chair conformation. At this conformation, carbon atoms are at an angle of 109.5o. Six hydrogen atoms are in the equatorial plane, and the rest of them are in the axial plane. This conformation is the most stable conformation of cyclohexane. 


Cyclohexene is a cycloalkene with the formula of C6H10. It is like cyclohexane, but there is one double bond between two carbon atoms in the ring, which makes it unsaturated. Cyclohexene is a colorless liquid, and it has a sharp smell. Cyclohexene is not very stable. When it is exposed to light and air for a longer period, it forms peroxides. Cyclohexene can be prepared by hydrogenation of benzene until one double bond remains. Cyclohexene is a highly flammable liquid. Since cyclohexene has a double bond. It may show reactions which are characteristic to alkenes. For example, with bromine, it’ll undergo electrophilic addition.


What is the difference between Cyclohexane and Cyclohexene?

• Cyclohexane is a cycloalkane and cyclohexene is a cycloalkene.

• Cyclohexane is a saturated hydrocarbon whereas cyclohexene is an unsaturated hydrocarbon.

• Therefore, cyclohexene will show characteristic reactions to alkenes.

• General formula of cyclohexane is C6H12 and, the general formula of cyclohexene is C6H10.

• Cyclohexene is unstable compared to cyclohexane.

• Cyclohexene is more reactive than cyclohexane.



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