Ethylidene radical forms from ethylene molecules via the rearrangement of molecules; the ethylene molecule contains two carbon atoms bonded to each other via a double bond, and there are two hydrogen atoms attached to each carbon atom. Ethylidene radical, on the other hand, contains two carbon atoms bonded to each other via a single bond and there are three hydrogen atoms attached to one carbon atom and a hydrogen atom attached to the other carbon atom. Therefore, the second carbon atom contains two unpaired electrons.
What is Ethylene?
Ethylene is an organic compound having the chemical formula C2H4. There are two carbon atoms bonded to each other via a double bond (a pi bond and sigma bond). Therefore, the ethylene molecule has two sp2 hybridized carbon atoms. Since a carbon atom is able to form four chemical bonds, there are two hydrogen atoms bonded to each carbon atom via single bonds. Hence, the ethylene molecule has a planar structure.
Some chemical facts about ethylene are as follows:
- Chemical formula = C2H4
- Molar mass = 28.05 g/mol
- Physical state at room temperature = it is a colourless, flammable gas
- Odour = sweet odour
- Melting point = −169.2°C
- Boiling point = −103.7°C
- Solubility in water = slightly soluble
- IUPAC name = Ethene
The major source of ethylene is crude oil and natural gases. There are three main processes used to produce ethylene from these sources. They are,
- Steam cracking of ethane and propane
- Steam cracking of naphtha
- Catalytic cracking of gas oil
Ethylene is important as monomers for the production of polymers such as polyethylene via addition polymerization. Polyethylene is a common packaging material. Furthermore, in biological systems, ethylene is important as a plant hormone since it stimulates the fruit ripening process.
What is Ethylidene?
Ethylidene is a radical having the chemical formula CH3-CH: This is a divalent radical because it has two unpaired electrons. Ethylidene radical can be prepared via the removal of two hydrogen atoms from the same carbon atom of ethane. Moreover, ethylidene radical can also form when a rearrangement of atoms occurs in the ethylene molecule.
What is the Relationship Between Ethylene and Ethylidene?
- Ethylene and ethylidene are organic chemical compounds.
- Ethylidene radicals are formed from ethylene molecules.
What is the Difference Between Ethylene and Ethylidene?
Ethylene is an organic compound having the chemical formula C2H4 while ethylidene is a radical having the chemical formula CH3-CH: The key difference between ethylene and ethylidene is that ethylene is a neutral chemical compound, whereas ethylidene is a divalent radical compound. Moreover, ethylidene can be prepared from the removal of two hydrogen atoms from the same carbon atom of ethane. Ethylene, on the other hand, can be prepared chemically via the ethanol dehydrogenation process.
The following infographic compares both compounds and tabulates the differences between ethylene and ethylidene side by side.
Summary – Ethylene vs Ethylidene
In a nutshell, ethylene and ethylidene are organic chemical compounds. Ethylidene can be prepared from the removal of two hydrogen atoms from the same carbon atom of ethane. The key difference between ethylene and ethylidene is that the ethylene is a neutral chemical compound, whereas the ethylidene is a divalent radical compound.