Alkenes are a class of unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbons that contain one or more carbon-to-carbon double bonds and have the empirical formula CnH2n. Alkenes are mainly synthesised from alkanes (principally ethane and propane) and are used in the manufacture of plastics, alcohols, aldehydes and are also used as fuels and illuminants.
The German chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann invented the alkene class in 1866. Prior to his proposition, the names of hydrocarbons consisted of the scattered use of the Greek feminine patronymic suffixes “-ene”, “-ine”, and “-one” meaning “daughter of”. Hofmann suggested systemising the nomenclature by using the vowels “a, e, i, o, u” to create the suffixes “-ane”, “-ine or -yne”, “-one”, and “-une”. Only the first three came into use.
Here is a photograph of August Wilhelm von Hofmann:
[ux_image_box img=”1180″ image_width=”40″ link=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Wilhelm_von_Hofmann” target=”_blank”]
- https://web.archive.org/web/20120414184114/http:// www.chem.yale.edu/~chem125/125/history99/5Valence/Nomenclature/Hofmannaeiou.html
- https://web.archive.org/web/20120202091842/http:// www.chem.yale.edu/~chem125/125/history99/5Valence/Nomenclature/alkanenames.html