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Question

Explain the following:
(i) Ethene and ethyne burn with a sooty luminous flame.
(ii) Ethane does not undergo addition reactions.
(iii) Ethyne is used for welding and cutting metals.

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Solution

(i) Ethene and ethyne contain double and triple carbon-carbon bonds respectively. These bonds are very strong and even upon combustion, carbon atoms remain together to form soot rather instead of reducing to water and carbon dioxide.

(ii) Ethane does not have any double or triple bonded carbon atoms. It is completely saturated and hence, cannot undergo any addition reactions.

(iii) Ethyne burns in oxygen to generate very high temperatures (of about 3000oC). The equation is:
​ ​2C2H2 Ethyne+ 5O2 4CO2 + 2H2O + Heat
As a result, it is used in welding and cutting metals, since most metals melt at such high temperatures.

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