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I believe the molecule $\ce{CH3CH2CH2Cl}$ to be saturated, since there are only single bonds between the carbon atoms, but my workbook says it's unsaturated. Why?

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    $\begingroup$ I think your textbook is wrong. $\endgroup$ – Dissenter May 31 '14 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ it is definitely a printing mistake in your textbook $\endgroup$ – agha rehan abbas Jul 1 '14 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ What workbook do you have? Is it a published text? $\endgroup$ – long Jul 1 '14 at 21:30
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The workbook must be wrong, it is a saturated molecule.

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You are correct. Your workbook might be wrong. It is definitely a saturated molecule.

The one quoting wikipedia text must see that the article is talking about saturated hydrocarbon from end of line one , so wikipedia is not wrong it's our interpretation of sentece is wrong.

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I refer you to definition 3) via Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturation_%28chemistry%29

To sum up: a saturated hydrocarbon must have no double bonds, no triple bonds, and no rings (only single bonds), and each carbon is attached to two hydrogen atoms, apart from the end carbons, which are attached to three.

The compound that you're given is not saturated since one of the end carbon atoms has a Cl attached to it.

If it helps, you can think of saturated as meaning that the carbons that make up the chain have to have as many hydrogens as possible attached; the chain is 'saturated' (or completely full) with hydrogen atoms.


Edit: Turns out I had a brain misfire: it's absolutely not a hydrocarbon (which would only contain carbon and hydrogen). The very first sentence of definition 3) that I referenced means that your workbook is wrong (and the other replies are correct): it's a saturated compound. My mistake - I erroneously conflated the first two sentences of 3) from Wikipedia while having a simultaneous brain fart.

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  • $\begingroup$ that's not hydrocarbon $\endgroup$ – DSinghvi Jul 2 '14 at 20:26

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