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Introduction To Organic Chemistry


Catalytic Cracking of Alkanes

Catalytic cracking is a chemical reaction that occurs among alkanes wherein the long-chain (heavier) alkanes are broken down into short-chain (simplier) compounds in the present of a catalyst. The catalyst is used to speed up the cracking reaction. Catalysts include zeolite, aluminium hydrosilicate, bauxite and silica-alumina. The products of cracking in general tends to yield an alkene and an alkane or hydrogen in some cases. Please note the following:

Black circles represent carbons.

White circles represent hydrogens.

The reaction above definitely demonstrates a very heavy hydrocarbon where it is broken to three alkenes and one alkane. The reaction for the above is as follows:

Click To view a diagram a catalytic cracker