How many structural isomers can you draw for pentane?
Compounds that have the same chemical formula but different structures are known as structural isomers.
- It means that they have the same number of each atom, but the placement of the atoms is different.
Pentane means 5 (pent) carbon atoms all having single bonds(-ane).
The simplest 5 carbon compound we can draw is by placing all five in a straight line.
- So first, we will place 5 carbon atoms in a straight line , and place the H atoms in a way that satisfies their valency. This structure is known as n-pentane.
Next, we can try to make a branching structure.
- We take one of the carbon atoms on the end, and place it on the middle carbon forming a side branch.
- Then, we place the hydrogen atoms in a way that satisfies the valency of the C- atoms.
- This structure is also known as Isoprene .
Now, we repeat step 2 till we can no longer form distinct structures.
- Again, we take a carbon from the end, and try to form a different structure .
- If we take the C-atom on the left and place it in another branching structure on the central atom, we get a compound called neo-pentane.
- H-atoms are placed in a way that satisfies the Carbon atom’s valencies.
- If we try to place more C-atoms from one end to the branches, we form the same compounds that we saw before.
- Hence, Pentane can have a total of 3 structural isomers, (i.e.) namely, n-pentane, isopentane and neopentane.