Chemical elements
  Carbon
    Isotopes
    Energy
    Production
    Application
    Physical Properties
    Chemical Properties
      Methane
      Ethylene
        Synthesis
        Physical Properties
        Chemical Properties
      Acetylene
      Coal-Gas
      Carbon Tetrafluoride
      Tetrafluoromethane
      Carbon Tetrachloride
      Tetrachloromethane
      Carbon Tetrabromide
      Tetrabromomethane
      Carbon Tetraiodide
      Tetraiodomethane
      Carbon Oxychloride
      Carbonyl Chloride
      Phosgene
      Carbon Oxybromide
      Carbonyl Bromide
      Carbon Suboxide
      Carbon Monoxide
      Carbon Dioxide
      Percarbonic Acid
      Carbamic Acid
      Carbamide
      Urea
      Carbon Disulphide
      Carbonyl Sulphide
      Carbon Oxysulphide
      Thiocarbonyl Chloride
      Thiocarbonic Acid
      Thiocarbamic acid
      Thiourea
      Thiocarbamide
      Perthiocarbonates
      Carbon Monosulphide
      Carbon Subsulphide
      Carbon Sulphidoselenide
      Carbon Sulphidotelluride
      Carbon Nitrides
      Cyanogen
      Dicyanogen
      Hydrocyanic Acid
      Prussic Acid
      Cyanogen Chloride
      Chlorocyanogen
      Cyanogen Bromide
      Bromocyanogen
      Cyanogen Iodide
      Iodocyanogen
      Polymerised Cyanogen Halides
      Cyanamide
      Cyanic Acid
      Cyanuric Acid
      Cyamelide
      Fulminic Acid
      Thiocyanic Acid
      Sulphocyanic Acid
      Isoperthiocyanic Acid
      Cyanogen Sulphide
      Thiocyanic Anhydride
    Diamonds
    Graphite
    Amorphous Carbon
    Coal

Ethylene, C2H4





History of Ethylene

Ethylene, Ethene, Olefiant gas, or Heavy Carburetted Hydrogen was first obtained by Becher from alcohol by heating it with sulphuric acid. It was mentioned by Priestley in his Experiments and Observations on Air, but first properly studied in 1795 by the four Dutch chemists, Deimann, Paets van Troostwyk, Bondt, and Lauwerenburgh, who observed the oily liquid it produced on combination with chlorine. This liquid, ethylene dichloride, was named Dutch liquid from the nationality of its discoverers, and the gas itself was called olefiant (i.e. oil-forming) gas by Fourcroy.

The difference between ethylene and methane was observed by Henry in 1805, and the denser gas was called heavy carburetted hydrogen to distinguish it from methane, which was light carburetted hydrogen, these two gases being the only hydrocarbons known at that time.

The name ethylene is derived from the name of the alcohol (ethyl) whence it is prepared (cf. propylene from propyl alcohol); and the designation ethene is due to the Geneva Convention (1892), which applied the suffixes -ane, -ene, -ine in accordance with diminishing hydrogen content, thus:

Ethane – C2H6;
Ethene – C2H4;
Ethine – C2H2;


Formation of Ethylene

Ethylene is formed as a product of the dry distillation of many organic substances, e.g. salts of aliphatic acids, fats, resins, and coal.
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