Aliphatic Compound

Definition - What does Aliphatic Compound mean?

An aliphatic compound is a compound containing carbon and hydrogen joined together in straight chains, branched trains or non-aromatic rings. These compounds are used as corrosion inhibitors.

The hydrocarbons of the alkane, alkene and alkyne series are aliphatic compounds, as are fatty acids and many other compounds. Most compounds containing rings are aromatic compounds. Thus, aliphatic compounds are the opposite of aromatic compounds.

Industrial uses of the aliphatic and alicyclic hydrocarbons include:

  • Solvents
  • Chemical intermediates
  • Fire-extinguishing compounds
  • Metal-cleaning agents

Aliphatic compounds are also known as aliphatic hydrocarbons or non-aromatic compounds.

Corrosionpedia explains Aliphatic Compound

In organic chemistry, compounds composed of carbon and hydrogen are divided into two classes:

  • Aliphatic compounds - Any chemical compound belonging to the organic class in which the atoms are not linked together to form a ring
  • Aromatic compounds - Containing an aromatic-ring configuration of atoms, such as benzene

Aliphatic compounds can be:

  • Saturated - Joined by single bonds (alkanes)
  • Unsaturated - Joined by double bonds (alkenes) or triple bonds (alkynes)

Besides hydrogen, other elements can be bound to the carbon chain, the most common being oxygen/nitrogen/sulfur and chlorine. The simplest aliphatic compound is methane (CH4). Aliphatic compounds can be acyclic or cyclic, but not aromatic carbon compounds. Most are flammable, allowing the use of hydrocarbons as fuel, such as methane in Bunsen burners and as liquefied natural gas (LNG), and acetylene in welding.

Aliphatic compounds are found in:

  • Chemicals
  • Paint and varnish
  • Textiles
  • Rubber
  • Plastics
  • Dyes
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Dry cleaning

Certain aliphatic compounds can be used in paraffin products and resins. They can also be used as chemical intermediates, fumigants and insecticides.

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