Naphthenes Definition and Examples

What Are Naphthenes?

Oil refinery plant

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Naphthenes Definition

Naphthenes are a class of cyclic aliphatic hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum. Naphthenes have the general formula CnH2n. These compounds are characterized by having one or more rings of saturated carbon atoms. Naphthenes are an important component of liquid petroleum refinery products. Most of the heavier boiling point complex residues are cycloalkanes. Naphthenic crude oil is more readily converted into gasoline than paraffin-rich crudes are.

Note naphthenes are not the same as the chemical called naphthalene.

Also Known As: Naphthenes are also known as cycloalkanes or cycloparaffin.

Alternate Spellings: naphthene

Common Misspellings: napthene, napthenes

Examples of Naphthenes: cyclohexane, cyclopropane

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Naphthenes Definition and Examples." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 28). Naphthenes Definition and Examples. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Naphthenes Definition and Examples." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 29, 2023).