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Why are Alkanes Relatively Unreactive

Alkanes and cyclo-alkanes are possibly the least chemically reactive class of organic compounds, with the exception of cyclopropane. Alkanes include strong carbon-carbon single bonds and strong carbon-hydrogen bonds.

Generally, alkanes are unreactive. Alkanes contain only bonds of C-H and C-C that are comparatively tight and difficult to break. Molecules which are non-polar are provided by similar electronegativities of carbon and hydrogen. In certain non-polar solvents, alkanes are the usual ‘oils’ used and they do not mix with water.

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