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I read in my book that alkanes are saturated compunds and the valencies of carbon are satisfied by single bonds. I knew that propane and butane are highly flammable and could cause explosion. My question If alkanes are less reactive then why they are highly flammable and could cause unfortunate explosion?

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    $\begingroup$ Because "less reactive" is still pretty reactive. $\endgroup$ Sep 30 '20 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ They do not self-ignite nor rapidly oxidize themselves during contact with air, do they ? 10^30 is smaller than 10^40. Is it small ? $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Oct 1 '20 at 2:44
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In chemistry, reactive and flammable are two different term. For example, Diethyl ether is a rather non-reactive material but it is highly flammable. In your case, propane or butane are mostly unreactive to common chemicals, but it does react with oxygen at an elevated temperature- that is they are flammable. Under similar condition, propene or butene are more flammable.

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