Cracking

Cracking involves breaking down long chain alkanes to shorter chain alkanes and alkenes. This reaction is important for obtaining many short chained unsaturated molecules.

Cracking is either done using a catalyst (zeolite) or steam, it can be done in a lab using the apparatus shown.

In a cracking equation the reactant will always be a long alkane and the products will be a shorter chain alkane and alkene. When writing equations remember there must be the same number of carbon and hydrogen atoms on both sides.

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